Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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An outbreak of acute norovirus gastroenteritis was detected and epidemiologically linked to a Christmas dinner reunion of 22 recent graduate students in a restaurant in Porto, Portugal, in December 2008. A retrospective cohort study was carried out using online standardised questionnaires. Sixteen primary and three secondary cases were identified and the risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals for each food item were calculated. The response rate to the online questionnaires was 96%. The outbreak met all four Kaplan’s criteria and the attack rate was 73%. Norovirus GII.4 2006b was detected in stools and emesis samples of two primary cases. The ingestion of soup and lettuce salad was considered a risk factor for this norovirus outbreak, as determined by statistical analysis. Our investigation demonstrated two routes of transmission of norovirus starting with foodborne exposure followed by secondary person-to-person spread. To our knowledge this is the first study identifying norovirus as the causative agent of a foodborne outbreak in Portugal.


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