Epidemiologic characteristics and military implications of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in croatia.Croat Med J. 2002 Oct; 43(5):581-6.CM
To analyze epidemiologic characteristics of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Croatia, including military implications of the disease and measures for its prevention.
We analyzed data from obligatory infectious disease reports and notification of deaths due to infectious diseases, data on the hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome epidemics in Croatia, and data collected by survey of the population, serological findings, and studies of wild rodents serving as reservoirs of the infection.
During the 1987-2001 period, 235 cases of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome were recorded in Croatia, with 147 (62.6%) of them among Croatian Army soldiers. Mortality rate was up to 15.4% (mean 2.2%) (5/235). The highest number of cases was recorded in months of June and July, ie, during the warm season characterized by increased activity of both the animals acting as infection reservoirs and humans as hosts. The known natural foci of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome have been Plitvice and Slunj areas, Velika and Mala Kapela mountains, Zagreb area (Velika Gorica and Jastrebarsko), west Slavonia, Novska area, and Dinara Mountain. The disease has not been recorded in the littoral area and Adriatic islands. The identified causative agents include Dobrava and Puumala viruses of the genus Hantavirus, whereas rodents Clethrionomys glareolus, Apodemus flavicollis, Apodemus agrarius, and Apodemus sylvaticus serve as the main reservoirs of the infection. Typical biotopes of the infection in Croatia are deciduous woods. The measures of prevention in Croatia include pest control, disinfection, hygienic waste disposal, preventing rodent access to food and water, proper choice of camping sites, and health education.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome occurs predominantly in soldiers, in a sporadic or epidemic form. Because of the course of disease and potentially lethal outcome, the disease has a considerable impact on the field task performance and combat readiness of military units, and is of great importance for a military community. Accommodation in permanent buildings with appropriate common and personal hygiene standards is recommended.