Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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The Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) includes variables related to travel for clinicians to fill when notifying travel-associated infections. We measured the completeness and validated the travel-history information for salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, giardiasis and shigellosis reported in 2009-2010. Of all 8,978 selected infections in MSIS, 8,122 (91%) were reported with place of infection of which 5,236 (65%) were notified as acquired abroad, including 5,017 with symptoms. Of these, 2,972 (59%) notifications had information on both date of arrival in Norway and date of symptom onset, so time between travel and illness onset could be assessed. Taking in account the incubation period, of the 1,435 infections reported as travel-associated and for which symptom onset occurred after return to Norway, 1,404 (98%) would have indeed been acquired abroad. We found a high level of completeness for the variable 'place of infection'. Our evaluation suggests that the validity of this information is high. However, incomplete data in the variables 'return date to Norway' and 'date of symptoms onset', only allowed assessment of the biological plausibility of being infected abroad for 59% of the cases. We encourage clinicians to report more complete travel information. High quality information on travel-associated gastrointestinal infections is crucial for understanding trends in domestic and imported cases and evaluating implemented control measures. .


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