Investigation of a Recent Incident Involving Residents Collectively Having Fever and Diarrhea at a Handicapped Institution in Changhua County

Tsai, Li-Shu

2006 Vol.22 NO.8

Correspondence Author:


It was just a few minutes passed four, in the afternoon of July 14, 2006, when a telephone started to ring at the Third Branch of Taiwan CDC located in Taichung City. The call came from someone who worked at Changhua County Health Bureau, and the matter concerned a notification they had just received from a local otolaryngologist who stated that quite a few residents of a nearby handicapped institution had come to his clinic in the past week with symptoms like fever and diarrhea. The physician sending in the report suspected that there might be a cluster infection going on at that institution. The Third Branch immediately sent out their field specialists to combine forces with the staff of Changhua County Health Bureau to form a small team, which set off an epidemiological outbreak investigation. Their objectives were to first determine the size and scope of the epidemic if there was one, the route of disease transmission, and the identity of the responsible pathogenic microorganism; second to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing preventive and control programs against this kind of infections in the neighborhood; and last but not least to prevent the endemic from getting worse.