Epidemiological Characteristics of Lower Extremity Cellulitis after a Typhoon Flood

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Objective:The flood after a typhoon may lead to increase in patients with cellulitis of lower limbs. However, the microbiological features of these cases are rarely reported. We conducted a study of patients with lower extremity cellulitis after a typhoon followed in southern Taiwan to study the risk factors of cellulitis and the bacteriological features of the patients.Methods:We reviewed all the medical records of cellulitis at emergency departments of two teaching hospitals in southern Taiwan 30 days before and after the landing of Typhoon Morakot and collected data on the demographic and bacteriological characteristics. In addition, we evaluated the relationship between the daily number of patients and the rainfall in the Tainan area.Results:The number of cellulitis patients increased from 183 to 344 during the 30-day period after the typhoon. The number peaked in the third and fourth days and lasted for 3 weeks. The proportion of patients with water immersion of the affected limb was higher after the typhoon (6% vs. 37%, odds ratio [OR]: 9.0, 95% Confidence interval [CI]: 4.7-17.2). We found cultures from the infected limbs with immersion had more polymicrobial (73% vs. 26%, OR: 7.8, 95% CI: 3.2-19.2) and Gram-negative bacilli infection (86% vs. 34%, OR: 11.8, 95% CI: 4.1-34.5).Conclusions:Flood arose from Typhoon Morakot caused increases in cellulitis patients, which lasted for 3 weeks. Antibiotic treatment that were effective to both Gram-positive cocci and Gram-negative bacilli are recommended for patients with limbs emerged in the water. © 2013 Lin et al.




Lin, P. C., Lin, H. J., Guo, H. R., & Chen, K. T. (2013). Epidemiological Characteristics of Lower Extremity Cellulitis after a Typhoon Flood. PLoS ONE, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065655

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