Tungiasis: a neglected disease causing severe morbidity in a shantytown in Fortaleza, state of Ceará

Ariza, Liana, Seidenschwang, Martin, Buckendahl, John, Gomide, Marcia, Feldmeier, Hermann, and Heukelbach, Jörg (2007) Tungiasis: a neglected disease causing severe morbidity in a shantytown in Fortaleza, state of Ceará. Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical. Revista , 40 (1). pp. 63-67.

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Abstract

The parasitic skin disease tungiasis, caused by the jigger flea Tunga penetrans, is endemic in low-income communities in Brazil. In this study, inhabitants of a shantytown in Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil, who had an elevated parasite load, were identified. The number of lesions, localization, staging and associated diseases were recorded. The 142 individuals identified were living in extremely precarious housing conditions. A total of 3,445 lesions located on the feet were counted (median = 17 lesions; maximum = 98 lesions). Almost without exception, the individuals had nail deformation and edema, and more than 70% presented with pain and fissures. There was nail loss in 46%; deformation of the digits in 25%; abscesses in 42%; and complaints of walking difficulty in 59%. Our data show that tungiasis in this low-income urban community typical of northeastern Brazil was associated with severe morbidity. Tungiasis needs to be recognized as a public health problem in this study area and other similar endemic areas.

Item ID: 2159
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: tungiasis; ectoparasite; morbidity; Tunga penetrans; infestation; Brazil
ISSN: 1678-9849
Date Deposited: 19 May 2009 00:42
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 80%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 40%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 9
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