The Lyme disease debate: Can the condition be chronic? Fox News May 2015
To the Editor: During the early 20th century, at the end of World War I, and during World War II, louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) caused by Borrelia recurrentis was a major public health problem, especially in eastern Europe and northern Africa (1,2). Currently, poor living conditions, famine, war, and refugee camps are major risk factors for epidemics of LBRF in resource- poor countries, such as those in the Horn of Africa (3,4).
Increased migration from resource-poor countries and war/violence create new routes for spread of vectorborne diseases. Recently, several cases of LBRF have been reported among asylum seekers from Eritrea in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany (5–8). All of these asylum seekers had been in refugee camps in Libya or Italy. We report 3 cases of LBRF in migrants from Somalia to refugee camps in Sicily, Italy.