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Travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease in Europe in 2008

In 2008, the European Surveillance Scheme for Travel Associated Legionnaires’ Disease (EWGLINET) received reports of 866 cases of travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease, 42 of whom were reported to have died. 824 of the cases were classified as confirmed and 42 were presumptive. As in previous years, a very low proportion of clinical isolates were obtained (63 cases, 7.3%). Males outnumbered females by 2.8:1 in the 2008 dataset and had a median age of 60 years compared with women, whose median age was 63 years. Travel outside Europe was reported for 12% of the cases. The scheme identified 108 new clusters in 2008. Sixteen were located in countries outside EWGLINET and 38 (35.2%) involved only one case from each reporting country, and would not ordinarily have been detected by national surveillance schemes alone. The largest cluster (six cases) was associated with travel to Spain. The 108 clusters were associated with 144 environmental investigations, 35 of which were at re-offending sites, (sites which had previously been investigated and where additional cases had subsequently occurred). At 61 (42.1%) of the sites Legionella species were detected. The names of 12 sites were published on the EWGLINET website.
 
 

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