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Investigation of travel-related cases in a multinational outbreak: example of the Shiga-toxin producing E. coli outbreak in Germany, May–June 2011

  • I. DEVAUX (a1), C. VARELA-SANTOS (a1), L. PAYNE-HALLSTRÖM (a1), J. TAKKINEN (a1), C. BOGAARDT (a1) and D. COULOMBIER (a1)...

Summary

Early investigation of travel-related cases in an outbreak of an emerging infectious disease can provide useful information to epidemiologists to characterize the exposure, while they may differ in demographic profiles from cases reported in the country where the outbreak has occurred. During the spring 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany, we proposed a methodological approach to collect a minimal set of demographic and clinical data that are relatively easy to obtain and available at an early stage of an outbreak investigation. Ninety-eight STEC O104 travel-related cases were reported in a survey by seven EU countries, Switzerland, Canada and the USA. We found a mean incubation period (n = 50) of 8·5 days, which confirmed previous estimations communicated by the Robert Koch Institute. No significant association was found between the duration of the incubation period and possible demographic and clinical factors, although the older the age, the shorter the incubation period that was observed. Such approach and observations are informative for further investigations of outbreaks of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli or other emerging infectious diseases.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr I. Devaux, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Surveillance and Response Support, Solna, Sweden. (Email: idevaux11@gmail.com)

References

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1. Robert Koch Institute. Report: Final presentation and evaluation of epidemiological findings in the EHEC O104:H4 outbreak, Germany 2011. Berlin, 2011.
2. Frank, C, et al. for the HUS Investigation Team. Epidemic profile of shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany. New England Journal of Medicine 2011; 365: 17711780.
3. Frank, C, et al. , on behalf of the HUS Investigation Team. Large and ongoing outbreak of haemolytic uraemic syndrome, Germany, May 2011. Eurosurveillance 2011; 16(21): pii=19878.
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Keywords

Investigation of travel-related cases in a multinational outbreak: example of the Shiga-toxin producing E. coli outbreak in Germany, May–June 2011

  • I. DEVAUX (a1), C. VARELA-SANTOS (a1), L. PAYNE-HALLSTRÖM (a1), J. TAKKINEN (a1), C. BOGAARDT (a1) and D. COULOMBIER (a1)...

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