A NEGLECTED ZOONOSIS IN ALBANIA: WHY ECHINOCOCCOSIS IS BECOMING A SURGEON’S EXCLUSIVITY?

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Arben Pilaca
Gentian Vyshka
Arben Pepa
Kastriot Shytaj
Valentin Shtjefni
Arben Boçari
Arben Beqiri
Dhimitër Kraja

Keywords

Echinococcosis, Public health, Surgery of hydatid cysts, Stray dogs, Burden of disease, Neglected infections.

Abstract

Echinococcosis is an endemic zoonosis in the Mediterranean area, with Albania interested actually to a level that is becoming a public health concern. Authors describe preliminary data from the only tertiary (university) medical facility of Albania, positioned in the capital of the country (Tirana), with 333 new cases diagnosed and treated during the period 2005 – 2011. Out of all these 333 new cases an impressive majority of 91% had a surgical treatment right from the first admission, rendering the disease almost a surgical exclusivity. Even more, 80% of all patients from the study group were hospitalized straightforwardly in surgical wards, with options of surgical intervention’s percentages outrunning figures from other sources and authors of the same geographical area. Such a situation, together with a very important level of patients’ origin from highly urbanized areas such as those of the capital, suggest the necessity of well-organized interventions, among which might be the mandatory notification of all human cases with Echinococcus infection.

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