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A large foodborne outbreak of norovirus in diners at a restaurant in England between January and February 2009

  • A. J. SMITH (a1), N. McCARTHY (a1), L. SALDANA (a1), C. IHEKWEAZU (a2), K. McPHEDRAN (a1), G. K. ADAK (a3), M. ITURRIZA-GÓMARA (a4), G. BICKLER (a2) and É. O'MOORE (a1)...
Abstract
SUMMARY

An outbreak of gastroenteritis affected at least 240 persons who had eaten at a gourmet restaurant over a period of 7 weeks in 2009 in England. Epidemiological, microbiological, and environmental studies were conducted. The case-control study demonstrated increased risk of illness in those who ate from a special ‘tasting menu’ and in particular an oyster, passion fruit jelly and lavender dish (odds ratio 7·0, 95% confidence interval 1·1–45·2). Ten diners and six staff members had laboratory-confirmed norovirus infection. Diners were infected with multiple norovirus strains belonging to genogroups I and II, a pattern characteristic of molluscan shellfish-associated outbreaks. The ongoing risk from dining at the restaurant may have been due to persistent contamination of the oyster supply alone or in combination with further spread via infected food handlers or the restaurant environment. Delayed notification of the outbreak to public health authorities may have contributed to outbreak size and duration.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Ms. A. J. Smith, Health Protection Agency, Thames Valley HPU, CRCE, Chilton, Didcot OX11 0RQ, UK. (Email: alyson.smith@hpa.org.uk)
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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