Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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According to the Italian Surveillance System for Legionnaires' disease (LD), physicians must fill in a form for every case and send it through the Local Health Units to the National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISS). Forms reported in the period from 2000 to 2011 were analysed and discussed. A total of 9,803 cases of LD were reported to ISS during the study period. The median age of cases was 63 years, with a ratio male/female of 2.6 and a case fatality rate of 11.8%. The number of cases has been steadily increasing from 192 cases in 2000 to 1,235 in 2010 and 1,008 cases in 2011. The reported cases showed a geographical gradient, with the highest number notified in the north and the lowest in the south. The majority of cases (73.0%) were community-acquired, followed by travel-associated (13.5%) and healthcare-associated cases (9.3%), cases acquired in long-term care facilities (2.1%), and other types of exposure (2.1%). Even though the increasing trend of LD in Italy indicates an improvement in the ability to detect and report cases, the geographical gradient highlights the existence of low reporting areas where the epidemiological surveillance of LD should be further strengthened. .


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