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Revista Española de Salud Pública

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Abstract

TORNER, Nuria. Clinical and epidemiological study of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks in Catalonia. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.83, n.5, pp. 659-667. ISSN 1135-5727.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272009000500007.

Acute gastroenteritis is an important health problem that it affects children and adults, especially the elderly. It is estimated that virus can account for 80% of totality of gastroenteritis. The true magnitude of these processes is difficult to consider since the more or less slight cases usually pass through the systems of notification and monitoring unnoticed. In Catalonia 261,222 cases of enteritis and diarrhoeas were declared during 2006, which is equivalent to an incidence rate of 3,661/100,000 persons/year. In order to contribute to a better knowledge of the relevance of gastroenteritis outbreaks caused by norovirus in Catalonia, a study was carried out to assess the clinical-epidemiological features of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks occurring during one year. The results obtained indicate that although Salmonella is still the most frequent causal agent implied (41%; 74 of 180) in gastroenteritis outbreaks of known aetiology, the second causal agent is norovirus (33.3%; 60 of 180). The greater knowledge of the characteristics and the ascertainment of molecular methods in the diagnosis of these outbreaks translated in a reduction in the number of gastroenteritis outbreaks of any aetiology and especially of those caused by norovirus.

Keywords : Epidemic outbreak; Viral gastroenteritis; Norovirus; Foodborne disease.

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