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Contributed by Dr Gary Dowse, Medical Epidemiologist, Communicable Diseases Control Branch, Health Department of Western Australia
Health officials in Western Australia followed up an outbreak of foodborne disease in a Perth restaurant. The overall attack rate among patrons at the restaurant on the implicated day was 36 per cent. Epidemiological analysis revealed a strong association between illness and consumption of sushi (RR 11.3; 95% CI 4.4-29.0). In addition, there were significant associations found with other seafood dishes from the cold selection and some desserts. No bacterial or viral pathogens were detected in the few faecal samples that were available, and no food samples remained. However, the characteristics of the illness, including secondary cases in family members of patrons, were most consistent with a viral origin. It was found that sushi delivered to the restaurant had not been refrigerated. Also at the time of preparation of the dishes incriminated in the outbreak, a food handler involved was symptomatic with an enteric illness similar to that described by patrons.
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 24, No 10, October 2000.
Communicable Diseases Surveillance
Communicable Diseases Intelligence