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Pediatric tick-borne encephalitis in 371 cases from an endemic region in Slovenia, 1959 to 2000.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

With the exception of
Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is the most prevalent tick-transmitted
disease in Europe. Here we report clinical and epidemiologic features of the largest number of children with TBE reported to date and the longest (i.e. 42-year) retrospective survey of pediatric TBE cases from one geographic region.

METHODS:

Case records of 371 patients, age 0 to 15 years, with serologically confirmed TBE and hospitalized between 1959 and 2000 at the Department of Infectious Diseases of the General Hospital Celje, Slovenia were reviewed and analyzed.

RESULTS:

Children represented 23.5% of 1578 confirmed TBE cases in the study period. Children were admitted to hospital throughout the year, but the majority were treated during summer months. In 178 (47.9%) children, a tick bite was noticed before admission. A biphasic course of illness occurred in 249 (67.1%) patients. The most common symptoms and signs of TBE were raised body temperature [>38 degrees C (n = 371)], headache and meningeal signs (n = 346), fatigue (n = 337) and vomiting (n = 327). Meningitis was diagnosed in 232 (62.5%) children, and meningoencephalitis was diagnosed in 139 (37.5%). There was a tendency for greater severity of TBE with increasing age. None of the children with TBE died, and none had permanent sequelae.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of our study indicate that pediatric TBE is relatively mild
disease with favorable outcome.

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003 Jul;22(7):612-7. Comparative Study

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