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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


DI PIETRO, Silvana et al. Surveillance of foodborne diseases in the Province of Rio Negro, Argentina, 1993 - 2001. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2004, vol.64, n.2, pp. 120-124. ISSN 1669-9106.

A total of 39 outbreaks of foodborne diseases affecting 958 people in the province of Rio Negro, Argentina between 1993 and 2001 are described and evaluated. The main causal agents were identified involving food, sites of occurrence, risk factors and notification system used. Salmonella spp (38%), Trichinella spiralis (15%), Escherichia coli (13%) and Staphylococcus aureus (15%) were the most frequent agents present  in outbreaks. Salmonella spp  produced the largest number of cases (52%). Food involved were cooked meat (36%), cheese (10%), sandwiches (10%), deserts (10%) and ice cream (8%). Indeed, ice creams were involved in the largest number of cases and of people affected. In relation to the source of food, 41% of outbreaks were caused by homemade meals, 23% by catering or ice cream parlor, 13% in family parties, 8% in county fairs and 8% in hotel restaurants. In 28% of the outbreaks the etiological agent was identified exclusively by epidemiological  analysis,  in  64 % isolation of  the agent  was carried out, and in 8% of the cases, a final diagnosis could not be obtained. Validity of epidemiological studies in foodborne disease, the necessity of strengthening the notification system of outbreaks, and the importance of good practices in food handling are analyzed.

Palabras clave : Foodborne disease; Outbreaks; Surveillance.

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