RESEARCH ARTICLE

Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Greece

The Open Infectious Diseases Journal 2 December 2009 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874279300903010099

Abstract

The outbreaks notified to both local Human Public Health (HPH) and Hellenic Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (HCDCP), from 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2007, were analyzed via the comprehensive forms filled in by HCDCP professionals. The attack rate was similar to other European countries 0.5/100 000 population. A total of 160 outbreaks were reported, 36% domestic, 42% restaurant/pastry shop/hotel restaurant/catering service (RPHC), 3% school/day care and 3% hospital/nursing homes based. Among them 84.4% were foodborne, 5.9% with person to person transmission (PTP), 7.1% with both routes, and 2.6% waterborne. Stool samples and food specimens from foodborne outbreaks were collected. The pathogen was identified in 76%, among which, 63% was salmonella spp, associated with raw shell eggs and chicken, shorter duration and higher attack rates outbreaks, and 4.5% norovirus, the latter with unidentified setting in the community, and mainly with PTP transmission. Continuous food safety education will contribute to the already existing governmental legislation and guidance and relevant public health measures. Routine use of existing diagnostic facilities and techniques and timely notification will further enable the public health stakeholders to diagnose and control gastroenteritis outbreaks promptly.

Keywords: Foodborne outbreak, gastroenteritis, waterborne outbreak.
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