Outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease in schools and nurseries in England and Wales 1992 to 1994.Commun Dis Rep CDR Rev. 1996 Jun 21; 6(7):R103-8.CD
We present data on outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease in schools and nurseries obtained from the surveillance scheme of all general outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease in England and Wales reported to the PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre between 1992 and 1994. A minimum set of data was received for 1280 outbreaks, 95 of which (7%) arose in schools and nurseries. The commonest pathogens were salmonellas, Shigella sonnei, and small round structured viruses. The mode of transmission was described as mainly from person to person in 55 outbreaks and mainly foodborne in 30. The mean attack rate was 30% and median duration was 10 days. The attack rate and duration varied with the pathogen involved. Forty-five of the 3118 people reported to have been ill were admitted to hospital. Outbreaks in schools and nurseries are common. Attack rates are high and such outbreaks are often prolonged. Effective infection control policies and appropriate training of staff are needed. Good local systems for surveillance can help identify outbreaks quickly and allow control measures to be applied early.