Relapsing fever outbreak investigation in Beyeda district, North West Ethiopia, 2020,Case control study
Keywords:Outbreak, Relapsing Fever, case-control study, Beyeda district, Ethiopia
Background: Ethiopia is the main endemic focus of louse borne relapsing fever (LBRF). It usually occurs in form of outbreaks under conditions of poor socioeconomic status, overcrowding, drought and famine.
Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of an outbreak of relapsing fever in Beyeda district in 2020, and identify risk factors for infection.
Method: A community based unmatched case control study was conducted in Beyeda district. All patients from 19 May to 28 June 2020 were included based on clinical onset of illness and laboratory results. Seventy-eight patients with 78 controls were included in the study. Data was entered to Epi Info Version 7.1.1 and analyzed by SPSS version 26.
Result: A total of 78 confirmed relapsing fever cases that had attack rate of 83/100,000 with no deaths were reported. Among all patients 50% (39) were male and 31 (39.7%) were under 15 years old. The mean age of participants was 26.57 and standard deviation was 15.67. Mass sleeping (AOR = 7.05, 95% CI (1.75 – 28.47), having contact a patient with RF (AOR= 10.5, 95% CI (2.9 – 38.6), washing clothes at least weekly (AOR = 0.019, 95% CI (0.004 – 0.10), low frequency of body bath (more than a week) (AOR = 6.64, 95%CI (1.56 – 28.18) and low frequency of grooming hair(more than a month) (AOR = 4.6, 95%CI (1.01 – 21.4) showed a statistically significant association.
Conclusion: Mass sleeping and poor personal hygiene contributed to the outbreak. Participants less than 15 years age were more affected in this outbreak. The outbreak was contained due to prompt interventions taken. Strong preventive measures were recommended to prevent emergence of future outbreak of relapsing fever. Health education should be delivered towards relapsing fever prevention in the district.