Outbreak report Open Access
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An outbreak of gastrointestinal disease (nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea) occurred among a party of wedding guests, staff and other guests in a hotel in the west of Ireland, in October 2006. Upon notification, a multi-disciplinary outbreak control team was convened to investigate and control the outbreak. In all, 98 people were ascertained ill. The median duration of illness was 48 hours. The attack rate ranged between 48 and 85%. The hotel voluntarily notified health authorities and co-operated fully with investigation and control measures. Strict prevention and control measures were instituted promptly, including air ventilation, enhanced hand hygiene, isolation of cases, temporary 'cooked food only', temporary alternative accommodation and specialised cleaning. Three cases of norovirus infection were laboratory-confirmed. There was no evidence of food- or water-borne transmission. Clinical and epidemiological findings indicated person-to-person transmission of norovirus. This report highlights the potential for large social gatherings to facilitate the spread of viral gastroenteritis by person-to-person transmission and via contaminated environment. Effective community management of this outbreak appears to have prevented its having an impact on local acute hospital services. The authors conclude that in addition to the existing national guidelines on the management of outbreaks of norovirus in healthcare settings, agreed guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in the hotel and tourism industry are needed in Ireland. .


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