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Vol. 24 - Num. 95

Original Papers

Importance of the epidemiological investigation of a Salmonella outbreak in a school setting

M.ª del Mar López Matiaccia, Laura Moratilla Monzób, Miguel Ángel Zafra Antac, Natividad García Marínd, Rosa M.ª Artero Segurad, Sandra García Barbaa

aServicio de Pediatría. Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada. Fuenlabrada. Madrid. España.
bServicio de Medicina Preventiva. Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada. Fuenlabrada. Madrid. España.
cPediatra. Grupo de Trabajo de Historia de la Asociación Española de Pediatría (AEP). Servicio de Pediatría. Hospital de Fuenlabrada. Fuenlabrada. Madrid. España.
dUnidad Técnica 9 del Área de Salud Pública. Consejería de Sanidad de la Comunidad de Madrid. Madrid. España.

Correspondence: MA Zafra. E-mail:

Reference of this article: López Matiacci MM, Moratilla Monzó L, Zafra Anta MA, García Marín N, Artero Segura RM, García Barba S. Importance of the epidemiological investigation of a Salmonella outbreak in a school setting . Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2022;24:241-7.

Published in Internet: 04-10-2022 - Visits: 869


Introduction: we describe an outbreak of Salmonella gastroenteritis in an early childhood education centre and a neighbouring public school in a town in the south of the Community of Madrid (Spain) in October and November 2019. Objectives: to describe the epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of salmonellosis, analyse the mechanism of transmission and underscore the importance of health reporting.

Methods: retrospective and prospective descriptive study of salmonellosis cases reported by different sources related to a school community. Analysis of variables in hospitalised patients. Epidemiological investigation and microbiological characterization.

Results: there were 38 reported cases (age range, 7 months-8 years; mean, 2.7 years). They were enrolled in 2 educational centres: 57.9% attended a nursery school and the rest were students of a neighbouring school who came to the nursery for lunch or recreation activities. Twelve were hospitalised (3 hospitals). There were no serious complications. The National Microbiology Centre identified Salmonella Typhimurium 4,5,12:i:-, a monophasic variant of S. enterica, in stool cultures. The inspection showed that food was not the source of transmission, but that there was a risk of faecal-oral   was not alimentary; on the other hand, there was a risk of transmission through the faecal-oral route and fomites; the physical separation between different areas was suboptimal. Proposals for improvement were made. No more cases were reported thereafter.

Conclusions: the outbreak was not related to food, and its analysis allowed the implementation of measures to avoid secondary cases later on. Case reporting is considered of utmost importance to take appropriate public health measures.


Epidemic outbreak Gastroenteritis Non-foodborne Salmonella enteritidis


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