Clinical presentation of louse-borne relapsing fever among Ethiopian refugees in northern Somalia.

Brown V Larouze B Desve G Rousset JJ Thibon M Fourrier A Schwoebel V
Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology 1988 Oct ; 82(5); 499-502. doi: . Epub 1989 10 20


Louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) is still endemic among Ethiopian populations. In order to assess the clinical presentation of LBRF in an Ethiopian refugee camp in northern Somalia, a referral system was organized for all pyrexias of unknown origin. Among the 134 patients referred, 37 showed Borrelia in fresh and stained blood smears. Common clinical features were: high fever (above 39 degrees C in 73% of the cases), headache and general body pain (88%), liver tenderness (62%), petechia (54%), nausea and vomiting (46%), chills and rigors (30%) and epistaxis (11%). Jaundice was absent. No fatalities were observed. The clinical picture was less severe than in previous studies on LBRF. This difference might be due to the fact that the present study was community-based as opposed to the previous studies which were hospital-based.