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Anne Anova firstname.lastname@example.org
Our ref: 27/07/ef/210
5 August 2016
Dear Ms Anova Re: Ocular Toxocariasis
Thank you for your email dated 27 July 2016 in which you ask for information about
Ocular Toxocariasis. Your email has been handled as a request for information
under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
You asked for a copy of the report entitled 'Epidemiology of Toxocariasis in England
and Wales’ by Kate Halsby, et. al.
In accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of the FOI Act, I can confirm that Public Health
England (PHE) holds the information you have requested.
Under Section 21 of the FOI Act, this information is exempt from disclosure. Section
21 states that ‘information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant’ is exempt
information and that such information ‘may be reasonably accessible to the applicant
even though it is accessible only on payment’ (Section 21(2)(a)).
As mentioned in my previous letter (Case Reference 166), if you wish to access the
full article, the relevant article can be found via the following link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12259/abstract
However, in accordance with our Section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance I
have attached the relevant excerpts of the article you have specified below.
If you have any queries regarding the information that has been supplied to you,
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Freedom of Information Officer
Attached: Excerpts from 'Epidemiology of Toxocariasis in England and Wales’ by
Kate Halsby, et. al.
The Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) recorded 127 cases with positive
laboratory results for toxocara in England and Wales between 2000 and 2009 (Fig.
1). Fifty of the cases were male, and 56 were female; for the remaining 21, the sex
was unknown. The median age of diagnosis was 39 years for females and 40.5
years for males (range 0–83 years) (Fig. 2). Where information was available, 20 of
92 cases (21.7%) reported ocular involvement. No information on the organism
species was available.
A full data set was not available for HTD prior to 1999, but they have historically
seen higher numbers of positive serological tests, with 73 positive tests (of which 46
cases had ocular damage) recorded in 1980, and 111 positive results (52 with ocular
damage) in 1981 (unpublished data from the Toxocara Reference Laboratory at
HTD). A paper by Ree et al. shows that between May 1982 and May 1983, 271
positive results were obtained, of which ocular toxocariasis probably accounted for
between 24 and 102 of the infections (Ree et al., 1984).
Laboratory diagnosis of toxocariasis is still relatively insensitive, especially for ocular
cases where serological tests on peripheral blood may give a number of false
negatives. In many cases, the diagnosis may be based on clinical evidence alone,
which requires a medical professional with an understanding and knowledge of the
symptoms of this relatively rare infection. It must also be noted that the cases
identified in this paper are devoid of epidemiological history, for example travel
history. Some of the cases may have been acquired abroad, but it is not possible to
say from the data available.