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Delays in Patient Presentation and Diagnosis for Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection) in Victoria, Australia, 2011–2017

1
Health Protection Branch, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
2
Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia
3
Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4030100
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract

Uncertainty regarding transmission pathways and control measures makes prompt presentation and diagnosis for Buruli ulcer critical. To examine presentation and diagnosis delays in Victoria, Australia, we conducted a retrospective study of 703 cases notified between 2011 and 2017, classified as residing in an endemic (Mornington Peninsula; Bellarine Peninsula; South-east Bayside and Frankston) or non-endemic area. Overall median presentation delay was 30 days (IQR 14–60 days), with no significant change over the study period (p = 0.11). There were significant differences in median presentation delay between areas of residence (p = 0.02), but no significant change over the study period within any area. Overall median diagnosis delay was 10 days (IQR 0–40 days), with no significant change over the study period (p = 0.13). There were significant differences in median diagnosis delay between areas (p < 0.001), but a significant decrease over time only on the Mornington Peninsula (p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, being aged <15 or >65 years; having non-ulcerative disease; and residing in the Bellarine Peninsula or South-East Bayside (compared to non-endemic areas) were significantly associated with shorter presentation delay. Residing in the Bellarine or Mornington Peninsula and being notified later in the study period were significantly associated with shorter diagnosis delay. To reduce presentation and diagnosis delays, awareness of Buruli ulcer must be raised with the public and medical professionals, particularly those based outside established endemic areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Buruli ulcer; Australia; epidemiology; Mycobacterium ulcerans; skin ulcer; Tuberculosis and other mycobacteria Buruli ulcer; Australia; epidemiology; Mycobacterium ulcerans; skin ulcer; Tuberculosis and other mycobacteria
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Coutts, S.P.; Lau, C.L.; Field, E.J.; Loftus, M.J.; Tay, E.L. Delays in Patient Presentation and Diagnosis for Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection) in Victoria, Australia, 2011–2017. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4, 100.

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