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Norovirus behind outbreak that sickened almost 1,000 people in the Netherlands



Norovirus behind outbreak that sickened almost 1,000 people in the Netherlands

Officials have revealed findings from an investigation after hundreds of people reported feeling ill following a party in the town of Berkel en Rodenrijs.

GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond and NVWA looked at the source of diseases. The biggest cause of gastrointestinal complaints turned out to be the norovirus. A total of 918 people reported being sick after attending the event, but no serious illnesses were recorded.

GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond visited the location where King’s Day was celebrated in Berkel en Rodenrijs several times and stool samples from 11 people were examined in the laboratory.

Based on a digital questionnaire, which was partly completed by 2,680 respondents, 900 people reported sick. Analysis showed that people who had drunk something from the stall of one café or in the café itself became ill more often. This applied to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and there was no connection with diet.

An employee of the café became ill during work on King’s Day and could probably infect other people. The café followed the catering code by sending the sick person home as soon as the symptoms became clear, but the virus was able to spread in the meantime. No violations were found during an NVWA inspection.

Officials say there are indications that the norovirus was circulating in Berkel and Rodenrijs before King’s Day. Three of the eleven people with a positive norovirus result had the same type of virus as the employee through genetic testing. They added that it is likely that not everyone who became ill was infected from the same source.

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