Epidemiological evaluation of Mediterranean spotted fever in children of the Karak province in south Jordan
Introduction: The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological patterns of Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) as well as its treatment and outcomes in children in south Jordan.
Methodology: A retrospective observational study was conducted from June 2013 to December 2015. Data regarding demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcomes were collected.
Results: In total, 35 male and 20 female patients (mean age: 6 years ± 3.6) were included. The incidence of MSF was 7.9 cases/100,000 inhabitants/year; MSF affected 89% of individuals in the summer, 74.5% of those living in a rural area with tent housing, and 100% of those who had contact with animals. All cases presented with fever, and 94.5% had a skin rash. Serological tests were positive in 87.2% of cases, and Rickettsia conorii (the Moroccan strain) was present in all positive cases. All cases had thrombocytopenia, but none had leukocytosis. Hyponatremia was present in 71% of cases, and 49%, 61.8%, and 72.7% had increased urea, alanine transaminase, and aspartate aminotransferase levels, respectively. Doxycycline was administered to all patients, with a cure rate of 96.4% and mortality rate of 3.6%.
Conclusions: MSF caused by R. conorii (the Moroccan strain) is prevalent in Jordan, and contact with animals is the route of transmission. The patients’ responses to doxycycline were excellent. A high index of suspicion, early diagnosis, and specific treatment considerably decrease mortality. MSF should be considered as a possible cause of febrile disease in those with a rash and in those living in rural areas.
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