We report a norovirus GIV outbreak in the United States, 15 years after the last reported outbreak. During May 2016 in Wisconsin, 53 persons, including 4 food handlers, reported being ill. The outbreak was linked to individually prepared fruit consumed as a fruit salad. The virus was phylogenetically classified as a novel GIV genotype.
Rare norovirus GIV foodborne outbreak, Wisconsin, USA
For folks traveling to countries where the safety of water is compromised, ice cubes (made from that water) can be a missed risk (and Canadian provinces tourism boards try to capitalize on this, see below).
A paper by Serdarvic and colleagues published in Epidemiology and Infection (which should be renamed to Outbreak Junkies Monthly) details another ice-related outbreak associated with a 2008 Lake Michigan dinner cruise. 41 out of the 72 cruisers came down with a mix of gastro illnesses (Shigella, Giardia, Cryptosporidia) after consuming ice-containing drinks. The paper details that prior to the cruise, rainfail cause a bunch of diluted sewage released into the lake – and that the hose used to pipe potable water into the boat’s water tank was likely contaminated due to user error.
Multi-pathogen waterborne disease outbreak associated with a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan
F. Serdarevic, R. C. Jones, K. N. Weaver, S. R. Black, K. A. Ritger, F. Guichard, P. Dombroski, B. P. Emanuel, L. Miller and S. I. Gerber
We report an outbreak associated with a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. This took place on the same day as heavy rainfall, which resulted in 42·4 billion liters of rainwater and storm runoff containing highly diluted sewage being released into the lake. Of 72 cruise participants, 41 (57%) reported gastroenteritis. Stool specimens were positive for Shigella sonnei (n=3), Giardia (n=3), and Cryptosporidium (n=2). Ice consumption was associated with illness (risk ratio 2·2, P=0·011). S. sonnei was isolated from a swab obtained from the one of the boat’s ice bins. Environmental inspection revealed conditions and equipment that could have contributed to lake water contaminating the hose used to load potable water onto the boat. Knowledge of water holding and distribution systems on boats, and of potential risks associated with flooding and the release of diluted sewage into large bodies of water, is crucial for public health guidance regarding recreational cruises.