Epidemiology and Infection



Short Reports

An outbreak of Q fever in a prison in Italy


G. STARNINI a1, F. CACCAMO a1, F. FARCHI a2, S. BABUDIERI a3, B. BRUNETTI a1 and G. REZZA a2c1
a1 Penitentiary Department, Ministry of Justice, Roma
a2 Epidemiology Unit, Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma
a3 Infectious Disease Clinic, University of Sassari, Italy

Article author query
starnini g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
caccamo f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
farchi f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
babudieri s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
brunetti b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rezza g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

We observed an outbreak of Q fever in a prison population. Overall, 65 of the 600 prison inmates developed the disease. The location of the prison cells had no apparent effect on the risk of infection. The outbreak was probably due to exposure to dust contaminated by a passing flock of sheep, which at the time of the outbreak was engaged in lambing. These findings highlight the possible emergence of Q fever in settings and populations not normally thought of as being at risk of exposure to the infection.

(Accepted October 12 2004)


Correspondence:
c1 Dr G. Rezza, Reparto Epidemiologia, Dipartimento Malattie Infettive, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Roma, Italy. (Email: g.rezza@iss.it)


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