Objective: Tularemia is a zoonotic disease that causes epidemics in Turkey. An increase in tularemia cases was noticed in the province of Muş compared to previous years. With this study, we aimed to increase the awareness of tularemia in the region by sharing the characteristics of the cases.
Methods: The epidemiological, demographic, and clinical characteristics of tularemia cases seen in the province of Muş between 2017-2019 were retrospectively analyzed. Only confirmed cases were included.
Results: Fifty cases were seen between 2017-2019. 52% were male; the average age was 23 (3-66), and 44% were 18 years or younger. The average admission time to the hospital was 23 days (3-79). Lymphadenopathy (LAP) (100%), sore throat (78%), weakness (66%), and loss of appetite (60%) were among the most common symptoms and signs at the onset of the disease. Oropharyngeal form (90%) was seen in most of the cases. 96% of the patients lived in rural areas, and 84% of them were using mains water as drinking water. Mains water chlorination rate was 30%. Most cases were seen in autumn and winter (76%). Similar clinical presentations were observed in 46% of the people in the neighborhood. No mortality was seen in the patients.
Conclusion: Data of two tularemia epidemics and six sporadic cases in the region within three years were presented. It should not be forgotten that tularemia is also seen in the pediatric age group in our region. Tularemia should be considered in patients of all age groups who present with complaints of LAP, sore throat, weakness, anorexia, and fever, especially during autumn and winter. Contact with contaminated water should be questioned in patients with atypically located LAP, and detailed epidemiological history should be taken. Taking sanitation measures and making prompt investigations are significant in preventing possible epidemics in areas with an increase in tularemia cases.