Norovirus Surveillance among Callers to Foodborne Illness Complaint Hotline, Minnesota, USA, 2011–2013 - Vol. 19 No. 8 - August 2013 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Table of Contents
Volume 19, Number 8–August 2013
Volume 19, Number 8—August 2013
Norovirus Surveillance among Callers to Foodborne Illness Complaint Hotline, Minnesota, USA, 2011–2013
Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne disease and sporadic and outbreak-associated acute gastroenteritis in the United States (1,2), accounting for 21 million illnesses, 70,000 hospitalizations, and 800 deaths each year (3). Norovirus is not routinely tested for in clinical settings because detection requires molecular methods typically available only in public health and research laboratories. Therefore, characterization of norovirus epidemiology has been primarily through analysis of outbreak data.
AbstractNorovirus is the leading cause of foodborne disease in the United States. During October 2011–January 2013, we conducted surveillance for norovirus infection in Minnesota among callers to a complaint-based foodborne illness hotline who reported diarrhea or vomiting. Of 241 complainants tested, 127 (52.7%) were positive for norovirus.
Consistent with national trends (4), most foodborne disease outbreaks identified in Minnesota are caused by norovirus. In addition, most foodborne outbreaks in Minnesota, including virtually all norovirus outbreaks, are identified through a centralized foodborne illness complaint hotline system, operated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) (5,6). However, most calls to the hotline represent sporadic (i.e., non–outbreak-associated) illness; only ≈7% of complaints are associated with known outbreaks (5). Systematic testing of hotline callers to determine illness etiology has not previously been conducted.
In this study, we conducted surveillance for norovirus among hotline callers. Our objectives were to characterize the role of norovirus as a cause of gastroenteritis in hotline callers and to describe trends in norovirus infection in this population as an indicator for norovirus activity in Minnesota.