Viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in residential care facilities: an examination of the value of public health unit involvement

Davis, Craig, Vally, Hassan, Bell, Robert, Sheehan, Frances and Beard, Frank (2014) Viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in residential care facilities: an examination of the value of public health unit involvement. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38 2: 177-183. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12171


Author Davis, Craig
Vally, Hassan
Bell, Robert
Sheehan, Frances
Beard, Frank
Title Viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in residential care facilities: an examination of the value of public health unit involvement
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1753-6405
1326-0200
Publication date 2014-04-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12171
Volume 38
Issue 2
Start page 177
End page 183
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To evaluate the value of notification to public health units (PHUs) in the management of viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in residential care facilities (RCFs) in Queensland.
Methods: Routine outbreak characteristics and control measures were collected at notification and conclusion of outbreaks notified between May and August 2008. This was supplemented with detailed interviews with RCFs and PHUs, including perceptions of the value of the RCF-PHU interaction.
Results:
Norovirus was the confirmed aetiological agent in 39 (68%) of 60 outbreaks. A significant association was found between increased outbreak duration and longer (≥4 days) time to outbreak notification (p<0.01) and larger facility size (≥150 people; p<0.05). Increased attack rate was not significantly associated with either time to outbreak notification or facility size, but was significantly associated with difficulty in cohorting (p<0.05). Most (92%) RCFs considered that outbreak notification was important and that PHU support was useful (97%). Most PHUs (77%) also considered that outbreak notification was important.
Conclusions:
This study demonstrates an association between prompt notification of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks to PHUs and shorter duration of outbreaks. Implications: This study provides evidence to support recommendations in current Australian guidelines that notification of outbreaks should occur promptly.
Keyword Disease outbreaks
Gastroenteritis
Norovirus
Notification of outbreaks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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