Investigation of a diarrhea outbreak in a high school in Pingtung County; April 2011

Ching-Li Lin1, Hui-Chen Lin1, Mei-Man Hsu1, Ming-Nan Hung1, Shu-Hua Huang1, Song-En Huang2, Ming-Chih Liu2, Sheng-Tang Wei1, Li-Jen Lin1

2011 Vol.27 NO.13

Correspondence Author: Hui-Chen Lin

  • 1. Fifth Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan
  • 2. Field Epidemiology Training Program, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan


Taiwan CDC received a citizen’s report of suspected diarrhea cluster in a high school in Pingtung County from the 1922 Hotline on April 30, 2011. Thus the Fifth Branch of Taiwan CDC, the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and Public Health Bureau of Pingtung County launched investigation and found that several students of the school developed symptoms since April 11. As of May 20 there were 665 probable cases (attack rate 38%), affecting students of 10th to 12th grades and some staff. The peak case number occurred on both April 25 and April 29. The Fifth Branch recommended the school to take related prevention immediately, including health education to teachers and students, staying home if ill, proper hand washing procedures, reinforce the cleaning and disinfection of campus environment, and daily health surveillance of teachers and students. Reported numbers have declined since May 6 to five cases per day. Both rotavirus and norovirus were detected from samples. The cause of the large scale campus cluster of viral gastroenteritis was suggested to be associated with ill persons failed to implement good hand-washing habits and duly environmental cleaning and disinfection that spread the outbreak through human to human transmission.