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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 31, No. s1, 2013, pp. 81-97
Bioline Code: hn13073
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. 81-97

 en Population-based Estimates of Acute Gastrointestinal and Foodborne Illness in Barbados: A Retrospective Cross-sectional Study
Ingram, Maria; John, Joy St.; Applewhaite, Tyrone; Gaskin, Pamela; Springer, Karen & Indar, Lisa


The aim of this study was to determine the burden and impact of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and foodborne diseases (FBDs) in Barbados through a retrospective, cross-sectional population survey and laboratory study in August 2010–August 2011. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with one person from each of 1,710 randomly-selected households. Of these, 1,433 (84%) interviews were completed. A total of 70 respondents reported having experienced AGE in the 28 days prior to the interview, representing a prevalence of 4.9% and an annual incidence rate of 0.652 episodes per person-year. Age (p=0.01132), season (p=0.00343), and income (p<0.005) were statistically associated with the occurrence of AGE in the population. Norovirus was the leading foodborne pathogen causing AGE-related illness. An estimated 44,270 cases of AGE were found to occur during the period of the study and, for every case of AGE detected by surveillance, an additional 204 cases occurred in the community. Economic costs of AGE ranged from BD$ 9.5 million to 16.5 million (US$ 4.25-8.25) annually. This study demonstrated that the public-health burden and impact of AGE and FBD in Barbados were high and provided the necessary baseline information to guide targeted interventions.

Foodborne illness; Morbidity; Population survey; ; Prevalence; Barbados

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