Louse-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis) diagnosed in 15 refugees from northeast Africa: epidemiology and preventive control measures, Bavaria, Germany, July to October 2015



Hoch M, Wieser A, Löscher T, Margos G, Pürner F, Zühl J, Seilmaier M, Balzer L, Guggemos W, Rack-Hoch A, von Both U, Hauptvogel K, Schönberger K, Hautmann W, Sing A, Fingerle V.


Euro Surveill. 2015;20(42). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2015.20.42.30046.


We report 15 imported louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) cases in refugees in Bavaria, Germany. One patient died. Epidemiological findings confirmed that all were young males from the Horn of Africa (12 from Somalia), who had similar migration routes converging in Sudan continuing through Libya and Italy. The majority likely acquired their infection during migration. Healthcare workers should be aware of LBRF in refugees passing through north Africa to ensure correct treatment and preventive measures.

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Link/DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2015.20.42.30046