Epidemiology of alimentary toxiinfection in western Romania

S.-M. Draghici, C. Laslau, A. Jarca
2010 International Journal of Infectious Diseases  
Knowledge of the epidemiology of alimentary toxiinfections (AT) is one of the main tools for public health care control in Romania. Methods: We made a retrospective study of the cases of alimentary toxiinfections in Bihor county between the years 2005 and 2009, emphasizing the epidemiological process. Results: In the past 5 years in Bihor county (610,000 inhabitants), there were reported 601 cases (9.85%000 inhabitants) of AT, 442 sporadic cases, and 29 foci with 159 cases. The 17 familial foci
more » ... were prevalent (74%), versus the 6 collective foci (27%). We presume that 40-50% of food borne illnesses go unreported to health departments due to mild symptomatology and quick recovery. Etiology was found in 220 cases (38.26%), Salmonella (29.13%), Staphylococcus (20.45%), E. coli (15.45%), Clostridium botulinum (14%), Campylobacter, Pseudomonas, Bacillus cereus, associated germs. As sources of infection there were identified eggs, poultry, dairy products, cream-filled cakes and pies, home-packed cans, sausages, ham, and sometimes water contaminated by animal feces. Improper food handling from the farm to the table creates conditions for the growth of bacteria that make people sick. Vegetables that are eaten raw may be contaminated by bacteria in the soil, water, and dust during washing and packing. Home canned and commercially canned food may be improperly processed at too low a temperature or for too short a time to kill the bacteria. Cooked food can also be contaminated after cooking by bacteria carried by food handlers or from bacteria in the environment. The preparation of vegetable cans and keeping of home-produced smoked meat in unhygienic conditions in the presence of vectors (flies, cockroaches) are also involved in producing AT in the western region of Romania, mainly botulism. Conclusion: Contaminated, adulterated, and mishandled food and beverages are the key element or source for contracting alimentary toxiinfections. The main etiology was Salmonella, followed by Staphylococcus, E.coli and C. botulinum. The public health authorities must take further measures to stop the illegal commerce with alimentary products and to keep the population informed on the food associated risks.
doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2010.02.1636 fatcat:h55iqj3dybaznkr7uutmpdpmpu