On 6 June 2019, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was notified of?more than?50 cases of gastroenteritis in Askøy. A reservoir in a water supply system was suspected as the source of the outbreak because of the acute onset and geographical distribution of cases. We investigated the outbreak to confirm the source, extent of the outbreak and effect of control measures. A case was defined as a person in a household served by Water Supply System A (WSS-A) who had gastroenteritis for more than?24 h between 1 and 19 June 2019. We conducted pilot interviews, a telephone survey and an SMS-based cohort study of residents served by WSS-A. System information of WSS-A was collected. Whole genome sequencing on human and environmental isolates was performed. Among 6,108 individuals, 1,573 fulfilled the case definition. Residents served by the reservoir had a 4.6× higher risk of illness than others. Campylobacter jejuni isolated from cases (n?=?24) and water samples (n?=?4) had identical core genome MLST profiles. Contamination through cracks in the reservoir most probably occurred during heavy rainfall. Water supply systems are susceptible to contamination, particularly to certain weather conditions. This highlights the importance of water safety planning and risk-based surveillance to mitigate risks.
ErratumIn: Euro Surveill. 2020 Oct;25(43): PMID 33124549