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[A norovirus-borne outbreak caused by contaminated bottled spring water in a school, Zhejiang province].

[Article in Chinese]

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Chinese Field Epidemiology Training Program, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China.



To study a local hospital reported acute gastroenteritis in a boarding school on its source of infection, mode of transmission and risk factors of the infection.


A suspected case was defined as who had developed diarrhea (≥ 3 times/day) or vomiting among teachers or students of the school, during April 19 - 30, 2010. A confirmed case was from a probable case plus tested positive for norovirus in stool specimens by using RT-PCR. Stool specimens of cases and environmental specimens were collected for laboratory diagnosis. In a case-control study, we compared exposures to sources of bottled water, consumption of bottled water, and hygienic habits of 220 probable or confirmed cases from April 21 - 23 in the peak of the outbreak, together with another 220 controls, with frequency-matched by school grade.


20.3% of the 1536 students but none of the teachers developed the disease. 98.6% of the cases (n = 217) and 85.5% (n = 188) of the controls had drunk bottled water in the classroom (OR(M-H) = 12.3, 95%CI: 3.7 - 40.9). 47.9% (n = 104) of the cases and 41.5% (n = 78) of the controls had drunk unboiled bottled water in classroom (OR(M-H) = 3.8, 95%CI: 1.5 - 9.6). 47.9% (n = 104) of the cases and 48.4% (n = 91) of the controls had drunk bottled mixed water (boiled and unboiled) in the classroom (OR(M-H) = 2.8, 95%CI: 1.1 - 7.0). Stool specimens from 3 cases and one bottle of uncovered bottled water in classroom showed positive of having norovirus genotype II. Coliforms was cultured much higher rates than standard deviations in the bottled water. The factory making the bottled water was not licensed or having strict disinfection facilities.


Bottled spring water contaminated by norovirus was responsible for this outbreak.

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