Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In February 2009, an outbreak of 38 cases of gastroenteritis occurred among the participants of two Dutch coach trips (A and B) who visited the same hotel in Germany. We initiated an outbreak investigation to determine possible risk of food-borne infection. A retrospective cohort study was performed among 87 passengers using a self-administered questionnaire. The response rate was 75 of 87 (86%). Mean age was 65 years. Cases were defined as participants of the two coach trips who had diarrhoea and/or vomiting at least once within 24 hours in the period between 7 and 14 February 2009. We distinguished early and late cases, with symptoms starting within or after 72 hours of arrival in the hotel. Overall attack-rate was 38 of 75 (51%). Microbiological investigation was performed on stool samples of two passengers from Coach A and two passengers from Coach B. Identical norovirus genotype II.4 sequences were detected in all four samples. Univariate analysis revealed a potential risk for early cases from juice consumption , which was most clearly seen for Coach B on day of arrival (juice at lunch: relative risk (RR): 3.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-11.7; juice at dinner: RR: 5.5, 95% CI: 1.6-18.1). A dose-response relationship was found. This outbreak was probably caused by using the taps of juice served in large containers with a tap for self-service, due to environmental contamination through person-to-person transmission. Still the role of either contaminated juice or contact with contaminated juice cannot be ruled out. .


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