Two viruses, echovirus type 8 and a reovirus, were isolated from a batch of oysters responsible for an outbreak of gastroenteritis. Characteristics of the illness, detection of Norwalk virus in the feces of one of the victims and other factors indicated strongly that the illness was due to infection with Norwalk virus. Examination of the implicated oysters and a fecal specimen from a victim failed to provide evidence of the involvement of any other causative agent. Thus laboratory evidence of human enteric virus contamination of a batch of food responsible for a viral illness has been provided.
1University of Sydney. Present address: CSIRO Division of Food Research, P.O. Box 52, North Ryde, N.S.W. 2113, Australia.
2Division of Analytical Laboratories.
3Food Inspection Branch.