Clinical features of gastroenteritis during a large waterborne Campylobacter outbreak in Askøy, Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonInfection, 2022, 50, 343–354. 10.1007/s15010-021-01652-3
Purpose: Outbreaks of Campylobacter infection are common, but studies exploring the clinical features of acute illness in the outbreak setting are scarce in existing literature. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the clinical features of self-reported acute illness in gastroenteritis cases during a large waterborne Campylobacter outbreak in Askøy municipality, Norway, in 2019. Methods: A web-based self-administered questionnaire, and invitation to participate was sent by the municipality of Askøy as text message to mobile phones using the municipality’s warning system to the inhabitants during the ongoing outbreak. Results. Out of 3624 participants, 749 (20.7%) were defined as cases, of which 177 (23.6%) reported severe gastroenteritis. The most common symptoms were loose stools (90.7%), abdominal pain (89.3%) and diarrhea (88.9%), whereas 63.8% reported fever, 50.2% joint pain and 14.2% bloody stools. Tiredness, a symptom non-specific to gastroenteritis, was the overall most common symptom (91.2%). Conclusion: About one in four of the cases reported symptoms consistent with severe gastroenteritis. We found more joint pain and less bloody stools than reported in published studies of laboratory confirmed campylobacteriosis cases. Tiredness was common in the current study, although rarely described in previous literature of acute illness in the outbreak setting.