Epidemiology and estimated costs of a large waterborne outbreak of norovirus infection in Sweden
Journal article, 2014
A large outbreak of norovirus (NoV) gastroenteritis caused by contaminated municipal drinking water occurred in Lilla Edet, Sweden, 2008. Epidemiological investigations performed using a questionnaire survey showed an association between consumption of municipal drinking water and illness (odds ratio 4 center dot 73, 95% confidence interval 3 center dot 53-6 center dot 32), and a strong correlation between the risk of being sick and the number of glasses of municipal water consumed. Diverse NoV strains were detected in stool samples from patients, NoV genotype I strains predominating. Although NoVs were not detected in water samples, coliphages were identified as a marker of viral contamination. About 2400 (18 center dot 5%) of the 13000 inhabitants in Lilla Edet became ill. Costs associated with the outbreak were collected via a questionnaire survey given to organizations and municipalities involved in or affected by the outbreak. Total costs including sick leave, were estimated to be similar to 8700000 Swedish kronor (similar to euro0 center dot 87 million).