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estimates of foodborne illness in the United States reported by Scallan et al. probably overestimate the occurrence of illness caused by unspecified agents because they did not account for the apparent sensitivity of the population survey to the occurrence of norovirus (1,2). The number of illnesses attributed to unspecified agents was derived from the simultaneous processes of extrapolation and subtraction: extrapolation from the population survey to create a base of diarrheal illnesses and subtraction of known agents from this base. Scallan et al. averaged illness rates from 3 successive population surveys to come up with a rate of 0.6 episodes of acute gastroenteritis per person per year. However, the individual rates were 0.49 (2000–2001), 0.54 (2002–2003), and 0.73 (2006–2007). The 2006– 2007 survey was conducted at the time of widespread norovirus activity. The estimated rate of population illness was strongly correlated with the number of confirmed and suspected norovirus outbreaks reported t

Year: 2013
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