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Volume 6, Number 2—April 2000

Dispatch

Outbreak among Drug Users Caused by a Clonal Strain of Group A Streptococcus

Lorenz M. Böhlen, Kathrin MühlemannComments to Author , Olivier Dubuis, Christoph Aebi, and Martin G. Täuber
Author affiliations: University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland

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Table

Sociodemographic and drug use habits of 19 drug users with group A streptococcal infection and 55 healthy controls, Berne, Switzerland, 1997

Cases Controls
n=19 n=55 Odds
Variable N % N % Ratio 95% CIa
Age
Mean (yrs) 30.3 30.7
Range (yrs) 20-43 21-48
Sex
Male 9 47.4 38 69.1 Ref. 0.76-8.26
Female 10 52.6 17 30.9 2.48
Employed
No 12 63.2 33 60.0 Ref.
Yes 6 31.6 15 27.3 1.10 0.30-4.00
Unknown 1 5.3 7 12.7
Daytime shelter
Home or work 7 36.9 20 36.4 Ref.
Street 8 42.1 20 36.4 1.14 0.30-4.40
Unknown 4 21.1 15 27.2
Nighttime shelter
Home 14 73.7 29 52.7 Ref.
Street 3 15.8 10 18.2 0.62 0.10-3.06
Unknown 2 10.5 16 29.1
Sharing of paraphernalia for drug use
Filter
No 9 47.4 34 61.8 Ref.
Yes 8 42.1 21 38.2 1.44 0.42-4.92
Unknown 2 10.5 0 0.0
Spoon
No 8 42.1 28 50.9 Ref.
Yes 9 47.4 27 49.1 1.08 0.32-3.68
Unknown 2 10.5 0 0.0
Needle
No 15 78.9 49 89.1 Ref.
Yes 1 5.3 5 9.1 0.65 0.03-6.68
Unknown 3 15.8 1 1.8
Cocaine heating
No 16 84.2 35 63.6
Yes 0 0.0 6 10.9 p = 0.17
Unknown 3 15.8 14 25.5
Mode of drug use
Intravenousb 17 89.3 55 100.0
Mucosal only 1 5.3 0 0.0
Unknown 1 5.3 0 0.0
Illegal drug used
Cocaine 2 10.5 7 127
Heroin 0 0.0 2 3.6
Both 16 84.2 46 83.6
Unknown 1 5.3 0 0.0
Methadone programc
No18 94.7 40 72.7 Ref.
Yes 1 5.3 15 27.3 0.15 0.01-1.23
No. of drug use(s)
<1 per day 4 21.1 21 38.2 Ref.
>1 per day 13 68.4 29 52.7 2.35 0.59-10.04
Unknown 2 10.5 5 9.1
Cocaine used
<1 g per day 7 36.8 30 54.5 Ref.
>1 g per day 8 42.1 10 18.2 3.43 0.84-14.34
Unknown 4 21.1 15 27.3
Nationality of dealer(s)
Not A 4 21.1 15 27.3 Ref.
Only A 6 31.6 13 23.6 1.73d 0.32-9.59
Several including A 4 21.1 20 36.4
Unknown5 26.3 712.7
Dealer location
Place X 8 42.1 1 1.8 27.43 2.57-696.75
Other places 7 36.8 24 43.6 Ref. P <0.001
Not Berne 0 0.0 1 1.8
Unknown 4 21.1 29 52.7

a95% confidence interval
bIncludes combined intravenous and mucosal drug use for one case and seven controls.
cGovernment-approved methadone program.
dComparing "only nationality A" and "not A."

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