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J Environ Health. 2008 Sep;71(2):20-4, 44-5.

Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in a Nassau County, Florida, return travel group from Ireland, May 24, 2006-June 4, 2006.

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  • 1Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service, Nassau County Health Department, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, USA. Becky_lazensky@doh.state.fl.us


The Nassau County Health Department (NCHD) in Florida investigated an outbreak of gastrointestinal (GI) illness in a returning choral group who toured Ireland from May 24 to June 4, 2006. The travel group, consisting predominantly of retirees, had performed at several churches and at a dinner theater in Ireland. The NCHD administered a telephone questionnaire to 40 of the 41 group members to examine possible water exposures; common meals; and food, travel, and clinical histories. The results of the questionnaire showed that 29 people met the case definition for the outbreak. Five stool samples from travel group members tested positive for Cryptosporidium parvum, a species that is animal in origin and often spread through an environmental contamination with animal feces. All five positive samples were subtyped 11aA16G1R1b, a strain that scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Parasitic Diseases detected twice in 2006 in other human specimens from Northern Ireland.

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