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Volume 11, Number 1—January 2005


Norovirus and Foodborne Disease, United States, 1991–2000

Marc-Alain Widdowson*Comments to Author , Alana Sulka*, Sandra N. Bulens*†, R. Suzanne Beard*, Sandra S. Chaves†‡, Roberta Hammond§, Ellen D.P. Salehi¶, Ellen Swanson#, Jessica Totaro**, Ray Woron††, Paul S. Mead*, Joseph S. Bresee*, Stephan S. Monroe*, and Roger I. Glass*
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; †Atlanta Research and Education Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡Department of Human Resources, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; §Bureau of Community Environmental Health, Tallahassee, Florida, USA; ¶Ohio Department of Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA; #Department of Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; **Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; ††New York State Department of Health, Troy, New York, USA

Main Article

Table 5

Estimates of the role of norovirus (NoV) in foodborne outbreaks of gastroenteritis*

Place (reference) Years of data No. of foodborne outbreaks Method used to attribute to NoV % of foodborne outbreaks attributable to NoV
United Kingdom (31) 1995–1996 341 Electron microscopy 6
Sweden (30) 1998–1999 85 RT-PCR 6
Sweden (29) 1994–1998 92 Electron microscopy 72
New Zealand† 2000–2002 383 RT-PCR 12
The Netherlands‡ 2002 59 RT-PCR 27
United States (6) 1982–1989 1049 Epidemiologic criteria 33
United States (8) 1981–1998 295 RT-PCR and epidemiologic criteria 41
United States§ 2000 600 RT-PCR and extrapolation 50

*RT-PCR; reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction.
†N. Boxall, pers. comm.
‡Y. van Duynhoven, pers. comm.
§Current study.

Main Article

1Efforts in 1998 to improve outbreak reporting resulted in more outbreaks being retrospectively attributed to this period. The current figures for 1993 to 1997 are 65 (2%) of 3,257 outbreaks attributable to NoV and 67% of unknown etiology.