The US Air Force Academy experienced a point-source outbreak of gastroenteritis originally believed to be caused by Salmonella. The overall attack rate was 48% among approximately 3000 cadets and staff. Food-specific attack rates implicated chicken salad. The odds ratio for chicken salad consumption in ill cadets was 10.7 (95% confidence interval: 8.2; 13.8). The celery component had been exposed to nonpotable water. Citrobacter freundii were statistically associated with consumption of the suspected vehicle and subsequent illness. Most aspects were consistent with the epidemiology of Norwalk gastroenteritis. However, the clinical presentation was not typical of reported outbreaks. One hundred five cadets required intravenous rehydration. Serum samples implicated Norwalk virus as the most probable cause of this outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control (Atlanta, Ga) recently began national surveillance for viral gastroenteritis. All outbreaks of gastroenteritis associated with nonpotable water should be investigated for evidence of viral cause.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2419-2424)
Warner RD, Carr RW, McCleskey FK, Johnson PC, Elmer LMG, Davison VE. A Large Nontypical Outbreak of Norwalk Virus: Gastroenteritis Associated With Exposing Celery to Nonpotable Water and With Citrobacter freundii. Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(12):2419–2424. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400120061010
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.