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BIOL 265 Principles of Environmental Health

The Duck norovirus outbreak, UK-2009

Outline

History of the Problem


What is Norovirus?
Causes of the Outbreak
Duration of Outbreak
Persons affected
Who are most at risk?
Findings

Outline

Risk Assessment
Risk Management
Risk Communication Strategies

History of the Problem


One of the United Kingdoms finest restaurant,The Fat
Duck, which has three Michelin stars and was voted the
best restaurant in the world in 2005, was closed in
February 2009 after hundreds of customers complained
of vomiting and diarrhoea.

What Are Noroviruses?


Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause
inflammation of the stomach and large
intestine. They are the leading cause of
gastroenteritis.

Causes of the Outbreak


Food poisoning by infected shell foods, particularly oysters.
Handling of food by infected staff.

Duration of the Outbreak


More worrying for the Fat Duck is the finding that "The
outbreak continue for at least six weeks because of
ongoing transmission at the restaurant - which may
have occurred through continuous contamination of
foods prepared in the restaurant or by person-to-person
spread between staff and diners or a mixture of both".

First to be affected

Initially, 24 customers

2.4

were affected and 21


members of staff.

2.3

The amount grew


because no reports were
made.

2.2
2.1
2
1.9

7
6
5

Persons Affected
Green represents those who felt ill.
Maroon represents those who were
diagnosed with norovirus.

4
3
2
1
0

Persons Affected
591 persons fell sick and 240 persons actually had
norovirus.

Symptoms of Norovirus

Vomiting
Diarrhoea

Continue......
Nausea

Who are most at risk?

Elderly
Pregnant women and
Vulnerable people with health problems.

Findings
More than of British grown oysters contained norovirus.

Risk Assessment
'Risk of exposure'
The first cases of norovirus were reported in early
January, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and local
authority were not informed until late February.

Continue.......

This delay in reporting to the appropriate statutory


authorities resulted in an ongoing risk of exposure to
infection for diners.

Earlier reports would have hinder potential cases of the


virus.

Risk Management

Upon discovering the outbreak the Health Protection


Agency ordered that the restaurant be closed.

Rapid issue of updated guidance to the food industry by


the Food Standards Agency in 2009, covering issues
such as the management of staff illness.

Risk Communication Strategies

Purposeful exchange of information was conducted


from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to the
customers and staff members to refrain from consuming
food at that restaurant until further notice.