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An outbreak of viral gastroenteritis following environmental contamination at a concert hall

  • M. R. EVANS (a1), R. MELDRUM (a2), W. LANE (a3), D. GARDNER (a3), C. D. RIBEIRO (a2), C. I. GALLIMORE (a4) and D. WESTMORELAND (a2)...

In January 1999, an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis affected more than 300 people who attended a metropolitan concert hall over a 5-day period. Norwalk-like virus (NLV) was confirmed in faecal samples by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay. The index case was a concert attendee who vomited in the auditorium and adjacent male toilet. Gastrointestinal illness occurred among members of 8/15 school parties who attended the following day. Children who sat on the same level of the auditorium as the index case were much more likely to be ill than those seated elsewhere (relative risk 7.1, 95% confidence interval 5.4–9.2, P<0.001). The majority of other reported cases had not been present on the evening of the vomiting incident. Disinfection procedure was poor and the disinfectant used contained no sodium hypochlorite. Transmission most likely occurred through direct contact with contaminated fomites. The outbreak has implications for disinfection procedures following vomiting incidents at public venues.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Wales), Abton House, Wedal Road, Cardiff CF14 3QX, UK.
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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