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Colombia Médica

On-line version ISSN 1657-9534


LAGUADO, José; NELSON, Alvis  and  MATTAR, Salim. Research of an outbreak of fever of unknown origin in a small locality in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Colomb. Med. [online]. 2005, vol.36, n.4, pp.254-262. ISSN 1657-9534.

OBJECTIVE: To make an epidemiological, serological and laboratory study of a tropical fever of unknown origin (FUO) outbreak in a zone in the Cordoba department with common etiologies of the region such as Plasmodium, Leptospira, Rickettsia, Salmonella, Brucella and Orienta. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the municipality of Chimá (Cordoba) a FUO outbreak appeared. The cases were compiled from a group of 209 symptomatic patients who attended the consultation to general physician. From these, in 89 (42.6%) clinical, epidemiological data and laboratory examinations were obtained. In order to establish the etiology of the FUO, serological and laboratory studies were made for leptospirosis, dengue, salmonellosis, rickettsiosis, Orienta, brucellosis and malaria. RESULTS: The following symptoms appeared in 30.4% of the total of the studied population: Headache (66%), arthralgiae (40%) fever and headache (62.9%). Despite of obtaining positive serologies for Rickettsia, Salmonella and Leptospira, it was considered that the probable cause of the FUO in the population was an acute infection produced by a Flavivirus which was suspected to be dengue. The positivity of antibodies anti-dengue IgM was 45% of the cases (40/89). The IgG was in 89% of the previously negative patients for IgM. 44% of the patients were positive for IgG and IgM. 30% of the cases appeared to be associate with Leptospira (n=8), it was not possible to determine if the infections by Leptospira were recent or past. CONCLUSION: After carrying out epidemiological, serological and laboratory studies of seven tropical diseases, it was established that the FUO outbreak was due presumably to the dengue virus.

Keywords : Dengue; Fever of unknown origin; Flavivirus; Tropical fever; Serodiagnosis.

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