Investigation of a Collective Diarrhea Outbreak among Cadets of a Certain Training Unit Located in Neipu Township, Pingtung County
Donald Dah-Shyong Jiang
2006 Vol.22 NO.11
Around 11 o’clock in the morning of July 17, 2006, somebody called up Pingtung County Health Bureau and reported a suspected group incident of having gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and abnormally high body temperature (>38￠XC), which involved, at the time the report was made, more than one hundred persons among the cadets of a certain training unit located in Neipu Township of Pingtung County. The situation met all
requirements of an epidemiological cluster in terms of number of people affected, closeness of timing and locality of individual cases, so it was mandatory for the health authorities to launch an immediate official epidemiological investigation into the outbreak. Therefore, a small ad hoc investigating task force was duly assembled with specialists from Field Epidemiology Training Program of Taiwan CDC, Fifth Branch of the CDC, and local Pingtung County Health Bureau and they went over to the training unit to proceed with the needed task. Their investigation objectives were to understand the real scale of the outbreak, transmission route(s), the pathogenic microorganisms involved, and the triggering factors. After those pieces of information became known, they would make recommendations of necessary preventive and controlling measures to curb its continuous spread or to prevent similar situations from happening again in the future.