Hi all…following up from my recent email on ‘Common themes contributing to recent drinking water disease outbreaks in affluent nations’, I’ve come across two additional Campylobacter outbreaks where, in one case, thousands were sickened and some deaths were reported. One was in Askøy near Bergen, Norway in June 2019 and appears to have run its course now. A similar large outbreak also occurred in Norway in 2008 which is captured in the Hrudey’s outbreaks paper. The other occurred in Nebraska in 2017 but only recently reported on (I circulated that one to this list on Feb 26, 2019). I find it interesting that Campylobacter is figuring more prominently in recent outbreaks given that it is relatively easy to inactivate (implicated in 8 of the outbreaks identified in the outbreaks paper in addition to these two newer reports).


In the case of the current Askøy outbreak, approximately 2,000 residents of the island municipality were sickened (as reported in mid-June, 2019), with 70 of those being admitted to hospital for treatment (including 15 children). It is believed that the outbreak contributed to the deaths of a 72-year-old woman and a one-year-old child. The cause of the outbreak was confirmed as being Campylobacter, which was isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of hospitalized patients and in several locations in the drinking water distribution system. The outbreak has been attributed to ingress of animal fecal waste into an underground treated drinking water storage tank which fed into a distribution system serving up to 15,000 people on the island.


Norway Water Crisis: Thousands Fall Ill On Island Near Bergen https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/06/15/norway-water-crisis-thousands-fall-ill-on-island-near-bergen/#70080d27616d