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Epidemiol Infect. Aug 2004; 132(4): 607–617.
PMCID: PMC2870141

Magnitude and distribution of acute, self-reported gastrointestinal illness in a Canadian community.


To estimate the magnitude and distribution of self-reported, acute gastrointestinal illness in a Canadian-based population, we conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional telephone survey of approximately 3500 randomly selected residents of the city of Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) from February 2001 to February 2002. The observed monthly prevalence was 10% (95 % CI 9.94-10.14) and the incidence rate was 1.3 (95 % CI 1.1-1.4) episodes per person-year; this is within the range of estimates from other developed countries. The prevalence was higher in females and in those aged < 10 years and 20-24 years. Overall, prevalence peaked in April and October, but a different temporal distribution was observed for those aged < 10 years. Although these data were derived from one community, they demonstrate that the epidemiology of acute gastrointestinal illness in a Canadian-based population is similar to that reported for other developed countries.

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