Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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We describe trends in the occurrence of acute infectious gastroenteritis (1992 to 2009) and food-borne disease outbreaks (1996 to 2009) in Italy. In 2002, the Piedmont region implemented a surveillance system for early detection and control of food-borne disease outbreaks; in 2004, the Lombardy region implemented a system for surveillance of all notifiable human infectious diseases. Both systems are internet based. We compared the regional figures with the national mean using official notification data provided by the National Infectious Diseases Notification System (SIMI) and the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), in order to provide additional information about the epidemiology of these diseases in Italy. When compared with the national mean, data from the two regional systems showed a significant increase in notification rates of non-typhoid salmonellosis and infectious diarrhoea other than non-typhoid salmonellosis, but for food-borne disease outbreaks, the increase was not statistically significant. Although the two regional systems have different objectives and structures, they showed improved sensitivity regarding notification of cases of acute infectious gastroenteritis and, to a lesser extent, food-borne disease outbreaks, and thus provide a more complete picture of the epidemiology of these diseases in Italy.


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