Public health officials in Catelonia, Spain are reporting that 4136 people were sickened with norovirus linked to tainted bottled water since the first cases reported symptoms two weeks ago.


Health officials say no new cases have been reported since Apr. 18 and are saying the outbreak is over, according to a health department news release (computer translated).

The affected were from 381 business districts of Barcelona and Tarragona. All the victims had a mild clinical picture. Six requiring hospital care but received medical clearance between 24-48 hours later.

The likely source of transmission is spring water packaged in Andorra, where the bottling plant is located. A company L’Hospitalet de Llobregat distributed this water in 18.9 liters “coolers” of different lots. Based on multiple inspections of the distributors, health officials say no violation was noted , therefor no sanctions will be imposed.

The Secretary of Public Health said said that water analysis carried out by the University of Barcelona and the Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPCAT) in Girona  identified the presence of norovirus and the results match the analytical samples of feces of patients affected.

“It is the first time in the world that norovirus has been found in bottled water,” said Albert Bosch, a microbiology professor at the University of Barcelona.