In the summer of 2006, several cruise-related viral gastroenteritis outbreaks were reported in Europe. One report came from a river-cruise, belonging to a ship-owner who had two other ships with outbreaks. This situation warranted onsite investigation in order to identify a potential common source of infection. A retrospective cohort study was performed among 137 people on board. Epidemiological questionnaire data were analysed using logistic regression. Stool, food, water and surface samples were collected for norovirus detection. Norovirus GGII.4-2006b was responsible for 48 gastroenteritis cases on this ship as confirmed in six patients. Identical norovirus sequences were detected in stool samples, on surfaces and in tap water. Epidemiological and microbiological data indicated multiple exposures contributing to the outbreak. Microbiological results demonstrated person-to-person transmission to be clearly present. Epidemiological results indicated that consuming tap water was a risk factor; however, this could not be concluded definitively on the basis of the available data. A common source for all cruise-related outbreaks was unlikely. The ongoing outbreaks on this ship demonstrated that evidence based guidelines on effective disinfection strategies are needed.
|Journal||Euro surveillance : bulletin européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Jun 2008|