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Epidemiology and estimated costs of a large waterborne outbreak of norovirus infection in Sweden

  • C. LARSSON (a1), Y. ANDERSSON (a2), G. ALLESTAM (a2), A. LINDQVIST (a1), N. NENONEN (a3) and O. BERGSTEDT (a4)...

Summary

A large outbreak of norovirus (NoV) gastroenteritis caused by contaminated municipal drinking water occurred in Lilla Edet, Sweden, 2008. Epidemiological investigations performed using a questionnaire survey showed an association between consumption of municipal drinking water and illness (odds ratio 4·73, 95% confidence interval 3·53–6·32), and a strong correlation between the risk of being sick and the number of glasses of municipal water consumed. Diverse NoV strains were detected in stool samples from patients, NoV genotype I strains predominating. Although NoVs were not detected in water samples, coliphages were identified as a marker of viral contamination. About 2400 (18·5%) of the 13 000 inhabitants in Lilla Edet became ill. Costs associated with the outbreak were collected via a questionnaire survey given to organizations and municipalities involved in or affected by the outbreak. Total costs including sick leave, were estimated to be ∼8 700 000 Swedish kronor (∼€0·87 million).

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr C. Larsson, Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. (Email: charlotte.u.larsson@gmail.com)

References

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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