Epidemiology and Infection



Investigation of an outbreak of cercarial dermatitis


B.  LÉVESQUE  a1 a2 c1 , P.  GIOVENAZZO  a3 , P.  GUERRIER  a1 , D.  LAVERDIÈRE  a2 and H.  PRUD'HOMME  a1
a1 Direction régionale de santé publique de Québec
a2 Unité de recherche en santé publique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, 2400 d'Estimauville, Beauport, Québec, Canada G1E 7G9
a3 Département de biologie, Université Laval

Abstract

We present the investigation of an outbreak of cercarial dermatitis that occurred in a recreational-tourist lake in the Québec City region (Canada) in the summer of 1999. A case-reporting form was sent to 450 families likely to have activities that would bring them in contact with the lake's water. The snails were characterized and the prevalence of their infestation by schistosomes was investigated. In total, 63 episodes consistent with cercarial dermatitis were reported. Sixty-nine percent of the cases occurred from swimming at the same beach. This location was the one where the only population of snails in the lake was identified. Shoreline residents were informed that they should not feed waterfowl, and a clean-up of the snail population was done at the start of the following summer. There were no cases of cercarial dermatitis at this site the following summer.

(Accepted April 3 2002)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence: Unité de recherche en santé publique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, 2400, d'Estimauville, Beauport (QC), Canada, G1E 7G9.


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