Surveillance and outbreak report Open Access
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In August 2016, an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) with 237 cases occurred in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. Gastroenteritis cases were reported at 11 events served by one catering company. Microbiological and epidemiological investigations suggested rocket salad as the cause of the outbreak. STEC ONT:H11 and EPEC O111:H8 strains isolated from food samples containing rocket were identical to the patient isolates. In this outbreak, the reported symptoms were milder than considered before for STEC infection, and the guidelines for STEC control measures need to be updated based on the severity of the illness. Based on our experience in this outbreak, national surveillance criteria for STEC have been updated to meet the practice in reporting laboratories covering both PCR-positive and culture-confirmed findings. We suggest that EPEC could be added to the national surveillance since diagnostics for EPEC are routinely done in clinical laboratories.


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