Higher numbers of most foodborne infections were recorded this past year, according to figures from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).

In 2022, the incidence of several infectious diseases from food, water, and animals that are notifiable increased, following a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, there was a decrease in most foodborne infections because of factors including less travel and infection control measures. Certain diseases are back at the same level as before the outbreak, while others are still lower than before, but with an increasing trend.

As in previous years, campylobacteriosis had the highest number of reported cases followed by salmonellosis. Cryptosporidiosis continued to increase, with 514 cases in 2022, especially among domestically transmitted cases.

Campylobacteriosis had the most reported cases in 2022 at 2,983, an increase from 2020 and 2021, but a lower number than before the pandemic. Salmonellosis at 712 cases in 2022, shigellosis at 80 cases, and giardiasis with 331 cases show the same trend.

Several infections have risen to pre-pandemic levels, such as E. coli at 518 cases in 2022, hepatitis A with 31 cases, and yersiniosis at 117 cases.

E. coli and Campylobacter figures
This past year saw major outbreaks of Salmonella and Yersinia. More details about the 34 outbreaks in 2022 can be found here.

Of almost 3,000 Campylobacter infections, 989 were infected in Norway and 712 were infected abroad. For the rest, there was an unknown source of infection. Of domestic cases, 414 were admitted to hospital, and men were slightly more affected than women.

Of those infected abroad, more than 200 cases had been to Spain including the Canary Islands and Mallorca, 77 had been to Turkey, and 45 to Greece including Rhodes and Crete.

From more than 500 E. coli cases, 267 were infected in Norway, 114 abroad and this information was not known for 137 patients. Most cases fell in the age groups 0 to 9 years old, 10 to 19, and 30 to 39. E. coli O103 was the most common type when this data was available. Second was O146, followed by O26, and O157.

A total of 145 people were hospitalized, mostly those aged 0 to 9 years old. Two people developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), and one was a child in this age group. HUS cases were infected by E. coli O26 and O63. One of them was infected in Norway.

Salmonella, Listeria and Yersinia data
Of more than 700 Salmonella infections, 324 were infected in Norway, 252 abroad, and for 136 cases the place of infection was not stated. The top countries of infection were Turkey, Spain, and Greece.

Of all reported cases, 276 were hospitalized. Most were aged 20 to 29, 0 to 9, and 50 to 59. Slightly more patients were women. Salmonella Enteritidis was the most common type with more than 200 recorded cases. Second was Salmonella Agona due to an outbreak. This was followed by Salmonella Typhimurium and its monophasic variant.

Listeria infections rose from 20 in 2021 to 31 in 2022. Of these, 27 were infected in Norway and four were infected abroad. Most cases were reported in November and December with five patients in these months.

All patients were hospitalized. They were mostly in the age groups 70 to 79 years old, 80 to 89, and 60 to 69. Men were slightly more affected than women.

Of 117 Yersinia cases, 83 were infected in Norway, 10 were infected abroad, and for 24 this data is not known. All but two infections were caused by Yersinia enterocolitica.

There were most cases in the groups 10 to 19 years old, 30 to 39, and 20 to 29. A total of 33 people were hospitalized.

One case of botulism and brucellosis was recorded. The botulism case was infected in Norway while the brucellosis patient was infected abroad.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)