OBJECTIVES: To describe the time course and characteristics of an insecticide-associated incident and highlight potential risks from similar outbreaks that may occur in other areas to enhance the preparedness of emergency physicians and other healthcare providers to deal with the sequelae of these events.

STUDY DESIGN: Outbreak investigation

METHODS: From 5 to 8 August 2008, an outbreak investigation was carried out among the affected primary school located in the refugee camp area of Lixian district, Sichuan, China. Affected pupils, parents, teachers and doctors working in the local medical stations were visited. Clinical checking, clinical treatment, epidemiological investigation and environmental investigation were undertaken.

RESULTS: In total, 138 individuals were diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis, characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva and intense ocular symptoms such as redness, itching and mucus discharge. According to the results, all risk factors (i.e. drinking water, indoor air and the materials used in camp classrooms) were excluded except insecticide exposure. The characteristics of symptoms, distribution of cases and records of irregular insecticide spraying support the assumption that the conjunctivitis outbreak was associated with synthetic pyrethroid alphacypermethrin exposure.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that non-standard operating procedures in pest control could lead to disease incidents. Medical rescue teams should receive training and education in preventive techniques.

Abstract Title:

Post-earthquake outbreak of insecticide-associated conjunctivitis in a primary school of Lixian district, China: An epidemiological investigation.

Abstract Source:

Public Health. 2010 Jun;124(6):332-8. Epub 2010 Apr 1. PMID: 20362307

Abstract Author(s):

H Y Xiong, H Lin, H Xvi, C M Shi, H P Xie, X J Ren, G R Huang, A P Wang, Z H Cui, J A Cheng, L Yi, Y Z Wu, Y P Zhao, B Xu, C Z Zu, Y Zhang, R F Xu, Y Q Bian, X Y Ma, L Zhang, Q Ren, L Q Cheng

Article Affiliation:

College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, People's Republic of China. hongyanxiong@sohu.com

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: To describe the time course and characteristics of an insecticide-associated incident and highlight potential risks from similar outbreaks that may occur in other areas to enhance the preparedness of emergency physicians and other healthcare providers to deal with the sequelae of these events.

STUDY DESIGN: Outbreak investigation

METHODS: From 5 to 8 August 2008, an outbreak investigation was carried out among the affected primary school located in the refugee camp area of Lixian district, Sichuan, China. Affected pupils, parents, teachers and doctors working in the local medical stations were visited. Clinical checking, clinical treatment, epidemiological investigation and environmental investigation were undertaken.

RESULTS: In total, 138 individuals were diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis, characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva and intense ocular symptoms such as redness, itching and mucus discharge. According to the results, all risk factors (i.e. drinking water, indoor air and the materials used in camp classrooms) were excluded except insecticide exposure. The characteristics of symptoms, distribution of cases and records of irregular insecticide spraying support the assumption that the conjunctivitis outbreak was associated with synthetic pyrethroid alphacypermethrin exposure.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that non-standard operating procedures in pest control could lead to disease incidents. Medical rescue teams should receive training and education in preventive techniques.

Study Type : Human Study

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