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An outbreak of gastroenteritis on a passenger cruise ship

  • Mary C. O'Mahony (a1), N. D. Noah (a1), B. Evans (a1), D. Harper (a1), B. Rowe (a2), J. A. Lowes (a3), A. Pearson (a3) and B. Goode (a4)...

Summary

In an outbreak of gastroenteritis on board a cruise ship 251 passengers and 51 crew were affected and consulted the ship's surgeon during a 14-day period. There was a significant association between consumption of cabin tap water and reported illness in passengers. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli were isolated from passengers and crew and coliforms were found in the main water storage tank. Contamination of inadequately chlorinated water by sewage was the most likely source of infection.

A low level of reported illness and late recognition of the outbreak delayed investigation of what was probably the latest in a series of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness on board this ship. There is a need for a national surveillance programme which would monitor the extent of illness on board passenger cruise ships as well as a standard approach to the action taken when levels of reported illness rise above a defined level.

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Copyright

References

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Dannenberg, A. L., Yashuk, J. C. & Feldman, R. A. (1982). Gastrointestinal illness on passenger cruise ships. American Journal of Public Health 72, 484488.
Hobbs, B. C., Rowe, B., Kendall, M., Turnbull, P. C. B. & Ghosh, A. C. (1976). Escherichia coli 027 in adult diarrhoea. Journal of Hygiene 77, 393400.
Lumish, R. M., Ryder, R. W., Anderson, D. C., Wells, J. G. & Puhr, N. D. (1980). Heat-labile enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli induced diarrhoea aboard a Miami-based cruise ship. American Journal of Epidemiology 111, 432436.
Snyder, J. D., Wells, J. G., Yashuk, J., Puhr, N. & Blake, P. A. (1984). Outbreak of invasive Escherichia coli gastroenteritis on a cruise ship. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 33, 281284.

An outbreak of gastroenteritis on a passenger cruise ship

  • Mary C. O'Mahony (a1), N. D. Noah (a1), B. Evans (a1), D. Harper (a1), B. Rowe (a2), J. A. Lowes (a3), A. Pearson (a3) and B. Goode (a4)...

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