, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 31-36
Date: 17 Dec 2008

Enteric Viruses in a Large Waterborne Outbreak of Acute Gastroenteritis in Finland

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Abstract

In Nokia city about 450,000 l of treated sewage water was for 2 days allowed to run into the drinking water supplies of the city due to a personal error of one employee. Within the next 5 weeks about 1,000 people sought care at the municipal health centre or regional hospital because of gastroenteritis. Here we report the results of viral analyses performed by gene amplification assays from the earliest water and sewage samples as well as from close to 300 patient samples. The contaminating treated sewage was shown to harbour several enteric viruses known to cause acute gastroenteritis. Likewise, the drinking water sample was positive for noro-, astro-, rota-, entero- and adenoviruses. Noroviruses were also found in 29.8% of stool samples from affected patients, while astro-, adeno-, rota- and enteroviruses were detected in 19.7, 18.2, 7.5 and 3.7% of the specimens, respectively.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12560-009-9009-6