The pattern of cystic echinococcosis in children in an endemic area in Morocco
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Cystic echinococcosis is a parasitic infection of major public health concern. The infection is generally acquired during childhood and the disease incubation period can last many years. The occurrence and characteristics of the disease in children were not well studied. The present study aimed to explore the pattern and features of cystic echinococcosis in children in rural and urban environments in Morocco. A total of 338 children diagnosed and treated for cystic echinococcosis were investigated. The trend of the infection, risk and exposure factors and the distribution of the anatomic locations of cysts were studied. A non-uniform decrease in proportions of infected children was found. Children from rural environs had significantly higher infection rates than children from urban environs (p < 0.001). Males were significantly more infected than females. Children aged 7–11 years were the most affected. For cysts locations, single organ involvement was found in 94.4% of the children versus 5.6% with multi-organ localization. Despite control program, active transmission of echinococcosis still occurred in children and remains a major public health problem. The infection in younger population may have some features that need to be considered in the prevention and control programs in endemic areas.
KeywordsChildren Cystic echinococcosis Cyst location Environment Risk factors
Thanks to the Director of the Provincial Ambulatory Outreach Service (SIAAP), Marrakesh, Morocco, for their collaboration. The assistance of Mr. Mohamed Essarafy and comments of Dr. Anthony Grimason are greatly appreciated.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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