Swimming-associated outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7.
In 1997 the first outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections involving 14 cases occurred in Finland. A case was defined as a resident of Alavus with an episode of diarrhoea between 5 and 17 July 1997, and from whom E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from stool. The investigation included case searching and a population-based case control study. Five primary and eight symptomatic secondary cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness were detected. In the 10 days before the outbreak, all 5 primary patients (aged 3-8 years), but only 6 of 32 population controls from the same age range (Fisher's test, P < 0.001) and 4 of 10 sibling controls (P < 0.05) had visited (but had not necessarily bathed in) a shallow beach popular among young children. Four out of 5 primary cases had remained within 5 m of the beach while swimming and had swallowed lake water compared to 1 of 5 population controls. These analytical epidemiologic findings incriminated fresh lake water as the vehicle of E. coli O157:H7 transmission. (+info)
Presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in sand from bathing beaches.
The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. in sand from non-EEC standard and EEC standard designated beaches in different locations in the UK and to assess if potentially pathogenic strains were present. Campylobacter spp. were detected in 82/182 (45%) of sand samples and Salmonella spp. in 10/182 (6%). Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 46/92 (50%) of samples from non-EEC standard beaches and 36/90 (40%) from EEC standard beaches. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was greater in wet sand from both types of beaches but, surprisingly, more than 30% of samples from dry sand also contained these organisms. The major pathogenic species C. jejuni and C. coli were more prevalent in sand from non-EEC standard beaches. In contrast, C. lari and urease positive thermophilic campylobacters, which are associated with seagulls and other migratory birds, were more prevalent in sand from EEC standard beaches. Campylobacter isolates were further characterized by biotyping and serotyping, which confirmed that strains known to be of types associated with human infections were frequently found in sand on bathing beaches. (+info)
An appraisal of sewage pollution along a section of the Natal coast after the introduction of submarine outfalls.
A bacteriological survey on the distribution and occurrence of coliforms and pathogenic indicators of pollution within the surf-zone and near-shore waters along a section of the Natal coast before the use of submarine outfalls with reported previously. In that report more than half the beaches in the region were found to be of Class IV or III quality. After the submarine outfalls became operational, ten further sampling runs were made. A considerable improvement in the sea-water quality was apparent, most of the beaches being regarded to Class II or I, notably in the bathing areas. (+info)
Outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with an interactive water fountain at a beachside park--Florida, 1999.
Since 1989, approximately 170 outbreaks associated with recreational water venues (e.g., swimming pools, waterparks, fountains, hot tubs and spas, lakes, rivers, and oceans) have been reported, with almost half resulting in gastrointestinal illness (1-5). This report summarizes the investigation of an outbreak of gastroenteritis in Florida during 1999. The findings indicated that Shigella sonnei and Cryptosporidium parvum infections caused illness in persons exposed to an "interactive" water fountain at a beachside park. (+info)
Simple anamnestic questions and recalled water-contact patterns for self-diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni infection among schoolchildren in western Cote d'Ivoire.
A study to determine the diagnostic performance of simple anamnestic questions and recalled water-contact patterns for self-diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni infection was carried out in western C te d'Ivoire. A total of 322 schoolchildren were screened over four consecutive days with the Kato-Katz technique to assess S. mansoni and concurrent geohelminth infections. Children were individually interviewed by teachers using a standardized questionnaire asking about symptoms, reported diseases, and water-contact patterns. The cumulative infection prevalence of S. mansoni was 76.4%. Univariate statistics revealed a significant association between the level of S. mansoni infection and three recalled water contact patterns: (1) fishing with nets, (2) swimming/bathing and (3) crossing rivers, but no significant association with reported symptoms and/or reported diseases. Multivariate analysis revealed significant adjusted odds ratios (OR) for crossing the river Tcheorbour (OR = 3.90, P = 0.007), crossing the river Sonbour (OR = 3.90, P = 0.008) and swimming/bathing in the latter (OR = 3.28, P = 0.017). The diagnostic performance of these water-contact patterns was characterized by high specificities but low sensitivities, hence negative predictive values. In the village studied here, recalled water-contact patterns were more useful variables than anamnestic questions for schoolchildren's self-diagnosis of S. mansoni infection, but no generalization of these findings beyond this population is possible at this time. (+info)
Occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in water in Northern Ireland: implications for public health.
The occurrence of Campylobacter spp was examined in a variety of waters in Northern Ireland. Conventional cultural techniques were employed with 768 water specimens, including drinking waters (tap, spring, bore hole and bottled) and recreational waters (swimming pool, lough, river and sea). Positive waters included 1/11 (9.1%) drinking water from untreated well water, as well as 5/12 (41.7%) untreated surface waters from loughs and 7/8 (87.5%) untreated river waters. Overall, untreated surface waters may represent a source of contamination with Campylobacter spp. in Northern Ireland, where they have a recreational involvement or are used as a drinking source by man or agricultural livestock. Therefore waterborne campylobacteriosis should be considered in patients presenting with acute enteritis and a history of participation in water sports/activities. As faecal coliform organisms have been previously shown to be poor markers of water quality, especially for Campylobacter spp, new criteria should be established to assess the risk of this infection and to evaluate and monitor the quality of water used for recreational purposes. (+info)
Booze and beach bans: turning the tide through community action in New Zealand.
Many beach and holiday resorts experience major problems with alcohol-related public disorder. Following an escalation in alcohol-related incidents in the New Zealand beach community of Piha, a community-driven response to address issues of community well-being and safety was initiated by concerned residents. A case study evaluation reported on the development of a community coalition involving community and statutory stakeholders and the successful implementation of local community action strategies. These included a beach alcohol ban, extensive local publicity and a community policing presence over successive summers. An examination of the case study suggests that inter-sectoral collaboration, and multiple level strategies through policy, promotion and enforcement activities are key factors in enabling communities to successfully reduce alcohol-related harm. (+info)
Sun protection of children at the beach.
BACKGROUND: We wanted to determine the frequency with which sun protection measures are used by children at the beach. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was undertaken that combined a brief, structured interview with direct observation of the sun protection methods (sunscreen, clothing, hats, shade) used for children at a public beach in Florida. RESULTS: Of the 139 children observed, 97 (69.8%) had some form of sun protection used on all three body regions (head, torso, legs), while only 8 (5.8%) had none of the three body regions protected. Sunscreen was the most common method of sun protection (84.9%), and other methods were less frequently used (shirt 11.5%, pants 26.6%, hat 8.6%, shade 14.4%). Sun protection use differed by sex, with girls having better protection of their head and torso, and boys slightly better protection of their legs. CONCLUSIONS: Using direct observation, we found that parents frequently use sun protection measures (mainly sunscreen) for their children while at the beach. Parents primarily rely on the use of sunscreen, rather than such measures as avoiding the sun, using shade, or protective clothing. (+info)