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Volume 18, Number 5—May 2012

Dispatch

Unsuspected Rickettsioses among Patients with Acute Febrile Illness, Sri Lanka, 2007

Megan E. RellerComments to Author , Champica Bodinayake, Ajith Nagahawatte, Vasantha Devasiri, Wasantha Kodikara-Arachichi, John J. Strouse, Judith E. Flom, Truls Østbye, Christopher W. Woods, and J. Stephen Dumler
Author affiliations: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (M. E. Reller, J.J. Strouse, J.S. Dumler); Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore (J.E. Flom); Medical Faculty of University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka (C. Bodinayake, A. Nagahawatte, V. Devasiri, W. Kodikara-Arachichi); Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA (T. Østbye, C.W. Woods)

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Table 2

Epidemiologic characteristics of patients with and without IgG evidence of rickettsial exposure at enrollment, southern Sri Lanka, 2007

Characteristic Negative rickettsial titer, n = 591 SFGR, n = 76 TGR, n = 12 Orientia tsutsugamushi,† n = 106 SFGR/TGR, n = 98 p value‡
Median age, y (IQR) 26 (16–44) 30 (23–48) 25 (19–48) 46 (34–56) 34 (23–55) 0.0001
Male sex 42 33 17 38 36 0.21
Residence 0.03
Urban 6 13 9 13 12
Rural 94 87 91 87 88
Type of work <0.001
Homemaker 26 26 18 32 24
Laborer 21 26 45 35 28
Farmer 2 1 9 6 6
Merchant 2 3 9 6 4
Student 28 11 9 6 19
Other 21 34 9 16 20
Exposure
Dog 57 46 50 57 44 0.10
Cat 35 26 25 30 30 0.43
Rodent 27 22 83 35 19 <0.001
Cow 5 4 17 5 6 0.48
Paddy field 10 8 0 18 8 0.07
Water source 0.03
Tap 29 45 17 29 35
Boiled 13 1 8 8 4
Well 57 54 75 65 60
Other 1 0 0 1 1

*Values are % patients unless otherwise indicated. SFGR, spotted fever group rickettsiae; TGR, typhus group rickettsiae; IQR, interquartile range.
†Includes 8 patients with apparent SFGR or TGR co-infections.
‡Kruskal-Wallis test to compare proportions across groups.

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