Infectious disease outbreaks occur year round and in different settings including hospitals, facility living, supportive living and home living sites. Effective outbreak management requires a multidisciplinary approach and involves individuals with different responsibilities.
Early recognition of unusual clusters of illness and swift actions in response are essential for effective management of outbreaks. Most site outbreaks are caused by seasonal respiratory viruses or seasonal norovirus. When illness is identified early and appropriate control measures are implemented in a timely manner, these outbreaks are generally controlled quickly.
As stated in the Public Health Act sections 26 and 29, the AHS Medical Officer of Health is responsible for outbreaks in their zone, therefore AHS Public Health needs to be notified and will provide direction during outbreaks. All staff, including physicians, students and volunteers, have a role in outbreak prevention and management. Regardless of the type of setting or agencies involved, a coordinated team approach with AHS and external partners is essential when managing outbreaks.
These resources are designed to help prevent and manage the spread of Influenza like-illness (ILI) and seasonal Influenza.
Further information on Influenza for health care providers, including recommendations and resources to help prevent the spread of Influenza, can be found here.