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J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181 Suppl 2:S381-6.

Multi-state outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis traced to fecal-contaminated oysters harvested in Louisiana.

Author information

1
Tuberculosis Control Program, New York City Department of Health, New York, NY 10007, USA. dberg@dohlan.cn.ci.nyc.ny.us.

Abstract

Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), or small round structured viruses, are known to cause acute gastroenteritis associated with eating contaminated shellfish. Between 1993 and 1996, three oyster-related gastroenteritis outbreaks attributed to NLV occurred in Louisiana. Intensive trace-back and environmental investigations revealed that the overboard disposal of sewage by oyster harvesters into oyster-bed waters was the most likely source of contamination in at least two of the outbreaks. The small infectious dose of NLV, the large quantity of virus particles in stool, and the ability of oysters to concentrate virus particles suggest that oyster-related outbreaks will continue unless strong control measures are established. Efforts to halt improper sewage disposal in oyster-harvesting waters, including overboard sewage discharge, must be undertaken if future outbreaks are to be prevented.

PMID:
10804152
DOI:
10.1086/315581
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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