A large outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection occurred in 2004 in Campania, a region of southern Italy, with 882 cases reported between 1 January and 1 August. The local public health authorities and the Italian National Institute of Health carried out investigations in order to characterize the agent, identify the source of infection and the route of transmission, and implement appropriate control measures. A web-based reporting system enhanced the flow of information between public health authorities, providing real-time epidemic curves and frequency distributions. The same 1B HAV genotype was found in 90% of sera from a subset of patients with acute disease, suggesting a local common source. A case-control study in the municipality with the highest attack rate showed that raw seafood consumption, in particular if illegally sold in water, was strongly associated with HAV illness. Samples of seafood systematically collected from retailers were found contaminated by HAV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health