An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium 9 at a school camp linked to contamination of rainwater tanks Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • SUMMARYIn March 2007, an outbreak of gastroenteritis was identified at a school camp in rural Victoria, Australia, affecting about half of a group of 55 students. A comprehensive investigation was initiated to identify the source. Twenty-seven attendees were found to have abdominal pain, diarrhoea and nausea (attack rate 49%). Of 11 faecal specimens tested all were positive for Salmonella Typhimurium definitive phage type 9 (DT9). Of four samples taken from the untreated private water supply, two were positive for DT9. Drinking water from containers filled from rainwater tanks [relative risk (RR) 3·2, P=0·039] and participation in two recreational activities – flying fox (RR 5·3, P=0·011), and beam-balance (RR 3·9, P=0·050) – were indicative of a link with illness. Environmental and epidemiological investigations suggested rainwater collection tanks contaminated with DT9 as being the cause of the outbreak. Increased use of rainwater tanks may heighten the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks unless appropriate preventative measures are undertaken.

authors

  • FRANKLIN, LJ
  • FIELDING, JE
  • GREGORY, J
  • GULLAN, L
  • LIGHTFOOT, D
  • POZNANSKI, SY
  • VALLY, H

publication date

  • March 2009