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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 31, No. s1, 2013, pp. 30-42
Bioline Code: hn13069
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 31, No. s1, 2013, pp. 30-42

 en Burden and Impact of Acute Gastroenteritis and Foodborne Pathogens in Trinidad and Tobago
Lakhan, Carelene; Badrie, Neela; Ramsubhag, Adash; Sundaraneedi, Kumar & Indar, Lisa


Objectives of this study were to determine the burden and impact of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and foodborne pathogens in Trinidad and Tobago. A retrospective, cross-sectional population survey, based on selfreported cases of AGE, was conducted in November-December 2008 and May-June 2009 (high- and low- AGE season respectively) by face-to-face interviews. From 2,145 households selected to be interviewed, the response rate was 99.9%. Of those interviewed, 5.1% (n=110; 95% CI 4.3-6.2) reported having AGE (3 or more loose watery stools in 24 hours) in the 28 days prior to the interview (0.67 episodes/person-year). Monthly prevalence of AGE was the highest among children aged <5 years (1.3 episodes/year). Eighteen (16%) persons with AGE sought medical care (4 treated with oral rehydration salts and 6 with antibiotics), and 66% reported restricted activity [range 1-16 day(s)]. The mean duration of diarrhoea was 2.3 days (range 2-10 days). One case submitted a stool sample, and another was hospitalized. Overall, 56 (10%) AGE specimens tested positive for foodborne pathogens. It was estimated that 135,820 AGE cases occurred in 2009 (84% underreporting), and for every 1 AGE case reported, an additional 6.17 cases occurred in the community. The estimated economic cost of AGE ranged from US$ 27,331 to 19,736,344. Acute gastroenteritis, thus, poses a huge health and economic burden on Trinidad and Tobago.

Burden of acute gastroenteritis; Diarrhoea; Foodborne disease; Foodborne illness; Population survey; Surveillance systems; Trinidad and Tobago

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