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The epidemiology of human salmonellosis in New Zealand, 1997-2008


This study describes the epidemiology of human salmonellosis in New Zealand using notified, hospitalized and fatal cases over a 12-year period (1997–2008). The average annual incidence for notifications was 42·8/100 000 population and 3·6/100 000 population for hospitalizations. Incidence was about twice as high in summer as in winter. Rural areas had higher rates than urban areas (rate ratio 1·23, 95% confidence interval 1·22–1·24 for notifications) and a distinct spring peak. Incidence was highest in the 0–4 years age group (154·2 notifications/100 000 and 11·3 hospitalizations/100 000). Hospitalizations showed higher rates for Māori and Pacific Island populations compared to Europeans, and those living in more deprived areas, whereas notifications showed the reverse, implying that notifications are influenced by health-seeking behaviours. Salmonella Typhimurium was the dominant serotype followed by S. Enteritidis. For a developed country, salmonellosis rates in New Zealand have remained consistently high suggesting more work is needed to investigate, control and prevent this disease.

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