Demographic and spatio-temporal variation in human plague at a persistent focus in Tanzania

Davis, S, Makundi, R, Machang'u, R and Leirs, H 2006, 'Demographic and spatio-temporal variation in human plague at a persistent focus in Tanzania', Acta Tropica, vol. 100, no. 12, pp. 133-141.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Demographic and spatio-temporal variation in human plague at a persistent focus in Tanzania
Author(s) Davis, S
Makundi, R
Machang'u, R
Leirs, H
Year 2006
Journal name Acta Tropica
Volume number 100
Issue number 12
Start page 133
End page 141
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Human plague in the Western Usambara Mountains in Tanzania has been a public health problem since the first outbreak in 1980. The wildlife reservoir is unknown and eradication measures that have proved effective elsewhere in Tanzania appear to fail in this re-ion. We use census data from 2002 and hospital records kept since 1986 to describe the temporal, spatial and demographic variation in human plague. A seasonal peak in cases occurs from December to February with the numbers of cases during this peak varying between 0 and 1150. Variation in incidence, calculated for each village as the mean number of cases per thousand inhabitants per year, indicates that human plague is concentrated around a group of three neighbouring, relatively isolated, high-altitude villages; Nywelo, Madala and Gologolo. However, there was no evidence that these villages were acting as a source of infection for the remainder of the focus. The likelihood of becoming infected with plague is highest between the ages of 5 and 19 and lowest for adult men. This was most clear in the ward encompassing the three high-incidence villages where the risk of plague among children aged 10-14 was 2.2 times hi-her than for adults aged 30-34, and among adults aged 30-34, the risk was 2.4 times higher for women than men.
Keyword(s) Plague focus
Rodent-borne disease
Vector-borne disease
Yersinia pestis
Zoonotic disease
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.actatropica.2006.10.006
Copyright notice © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0001-706X
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