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Type: Journal article
Title: A large prolonged outbreak of human calicivirus infection linked to an aged-care facility
Author: Milazzo, A.
Tribe, I.
Ratcliff, R.
Doherty, C.
Higgins, G.
Givney, R.
Citation: Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report, 2002; 26(2):261-264
Publisher: Department of Health and Family Services
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0725-3141
Statement of
Milazzo A, Tribe IG, Ratcliff R, Doherty C, Higgins G and Givney R.
Abstract: This report investigates an outbreak of acute gastrointestinal illness, microbiologically and epidemiologically linked to an aged-care facility and seeks to determine if there was a point source of infection. A register of cases that included onset date and time of illness and symptoms was maintained by nursing staff. Faecal specimens were tested for conventional gastrointestinal pathogens and for human calicivirus (HuCV). There were 81 cases reported. Specimens were received for testing from 25 cases. Twenty-three of the 25 (92%) specimens were positive for HuCV RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The 2 negative samples contained RT-PCR inhibitors. Descriptive epidemiology suggested that staffing practices were important in prolonging the outbreak. No point source of infection was identified. Instead environmental contamination, aerosol transmission and work practices that fail to take account of the natural history of HuCV infection probably contributed to the size (81 cases) and duration (3 weeks) of this outbreak among the residents, staff and visitors of an aged-care facility and their contacts. Institutional outbreaks caused by HuCV, formerly called Norwalk-like or small round structured viruses, are extremely difficult to control. Infected staff may contribute significantly to the amplification of outbreaks. Rapid confirmation of HuCV infection is now routinely possible using polymerase chain reaction diagnostics but progress in laboratory technology has not yet translated into faster or more effective interventions.
Keywords: Humans
Caliciviridae Infections
Acute Disease
Disease Outbreaks
Homes for the Aged
Nursing Homes
South Australia
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Public Health publications

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