Investigation of A Diarrhea Outbreak at A Psychiatric Care Center in Kaohsiung City

Mei-Man Hsu, Shu-Hua Huang, Min-Nan Hung,Chi-Chuan Huang, Sheng-Tang Wei, Li-Jen Lin

2012 Vol.28 NO.8

Correspondence Author: Shih-Tse Huang

  • Fifth Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan


The Fifth Branch of the Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan (Taiwan CDC) received a diarrhea outbreak report on February 19, 2012, referring to the B zone of a psychiatric care center. The Fifth Branch then contacted the local health department and conducted the investigation and intervened the related preventive measures, including classification and quarantine on the basis of symptoms, cohorting care, the moving line control, increasing the frequency on residents’ hand washing and environmental cleaning and disinfection, as well as health surveillance for residents and staff. This investigation revealed that a total of seven residents at the B zone were notified with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea from February 17 to February 21. Among the collected four stool samples for virus tests and four anal swabs for bacterial tests, one stool sample resulted in norovirus positive while bacterial tests turned out to be negative. Compared to outbreaks in other long-term care centers, this psychiatric care center spent fewer days on notification, indicating its high alertness and effective implementation on surveillance and notification. It’s also worth to share the experience with other long-term care facilities that early intervention of control measures in the beginning of the outbreak can successfully reduce the epidemic duration.