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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 1;41(5):698-704. Epub 2005 Jul 22.

Estimating the burden of acute gastroenteritis, foodborne disease, and pathogens commonly transmitted by food: an international review.

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  • 1Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, PAHO, World Health Organization, Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.


The burden of foodborne disease is not well defined in many countries or regions or on a global level. The World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with other national public health agencies, is coordinating a number of international activities designed to assist countries in the strengthening of disease surveillance and to determine the burden of acute gastroenteritis. These data can then be used to estimate the following situations: (1) the burden associated with acute gastroenteritis of foodborne origin, (2) the burden caused by specific pathogens commonly transmitted by food, and (3) the burden caused by specific foods or food groups. Many of the scientists collaborating with the WHO on these activities have been involved in quantifying the burden of acute gastroenteritis on a national basis. This article reviews these key national studies and the international efforts that are providing the necessary information and technical resources to derive national, regional, and global burden of disease estimates.

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