Skip to main content

Free Content An outbreak of leptospirosis in Orissa, India: the importance of surveillance

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library

Summary Objective 

To demonstrate the importance of surveillance systems in detecting emerging diseases and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of an existing one. Methods 

The Orissa multi-disease surveillance system (OMDSS) was introduced in November 1999. Reporting units from the periphery send data to the district on a weekly basis. These reports are analysed regularly. A district task force (DTF) was available to intervene in the event of an outbreak. The OMDSS detected an increasing number of cases with fever and jaundice in June 2002. The DTF investigated this outbreak using clinical, epidemiological and laboratory tools to identify its cause. Results 

This outbreak, in a remote corner of India, was detected within 4 days by an existing surveillance system. Action was initiated within 24 h, but it took approximately two more weeks for the causative agent to be diagnosed. A total of 143 people were suspected to have leptospirosis between 23 June 2002 and 31 July 2002. The attack rate was 5.95% and the case fatality ratio (CFR) was 7.69%, both lower than outbreaks reported elsewhere in India. While males were infected more often than females, the CFR was higher among females and among the 6–15 year age groups. Exposure to infected water in a canal was the probable cause of the outbreak. IgM antibodies were positive in 33 of the patients and six patients tested positive for PCR and culture. Leptospirosis interrogans serovar canicola, Leptospirosis interrogans serovar pomona and Leptospirosis interrogans serovar hebdomadis were isolated. Conclusions 

Leptospirosis is a new disease in this region of India. This outbreak was detected and diagnosed because of the surveillance system. The prompt response helped in containing the outbreak early enough. However, the morbidity and mortality could have been further mitigated if the delays in transmitting information had been minimized. An adequate laboratory support would have also helped considerably. We conclude stressing the importance of surveillance as a public health tool.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: leptospirosis; outbreak; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  District Health Office, Baripada, Orissa, India 2:  ITG, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 2004-09-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more