Investigation of a Bacillary Dysentery Outbreak at One Nursing Home in Hukou Township, Hsinchu County
2004 Vol.20 NO.6
An outbreak of bacillary dysentery at one nursing home in Hukou Township of Hsinchu County was reported on February 22, 2002. The purposes of this investigation were to comprehend the scale of the outbreak, its relevant epidemiological factors, and routes of transmission. Fifteen cases were diagnosed by the investigation, yielding an attack rate of 14.3% (15/105). Among them, seven were confirmed cases, five were suspected cases, and three were positive asymptomatic cases. The affected cases were residents of the nursing home; no staff members of the institution were infected. Shigella flexneri 1b was isolated from the rectal swabs of ten cases. According to the epidemiological curve and the distribution of location of affected patients’ beds, the route of transmission was postulated to be through close contact. The probable initial transmission occurred when a new resident absconded from the home for a few days and then returned to transmit the disease to other residents. Deficiencies in the environment, hygienic practices of the foreign workers caring for the residents, and in the management and policies of the institution were noted. Health authorities should intervene to prevent future incidents.