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Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest

Date:
April 2, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Frail elderly people living in residential care facilities are at increased risk of severe illness or death from outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis. "Notification of outbreaks to public health units should occur within 24 hours of any outbreak so that diagnostic testing and control measures can begin as soon as possible," the researchers state.

Frail elderly people living in residential care facilities are at increased risk of severe illness or death from outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis.

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This is the finding from a study led by Craig Davis from Department of Health Queensland, published in the April issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

"Importantly, prompt notification of outbreaks to public health units led to a much shorter duration of the outbreak," Mr Davis said.

"Notification of outbreaks to public health units should occur within 24 hours of any outbreak so that diagnostic testing and control measures can begin as soon as possible.

"A number of viruses may cause outbreaks, but norovirus is by far the most common.

"It typically causes vomiting, watery diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps with symptoms such as fatigue, myalgia, headache, chills and fever. There is no specific treatment and no vaccine for norovirus. Gastro outbreaks cause a considerable burden in residential care facilities, including disruptions relating to staff absenteeism due to illness, closure of common areas to residents, cancellation of events and increased attention required to infection control.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Craig Davis, Hassan Vally, Robert Bell, Frances Sheehan, Frank Beard. Viral gastrointestinal outbreaks in residential care facilities: an examination of the value of public health unit involvement. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2014; 38 (2): 177 DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12171

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402153623.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, April 2). Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402153623.htm
Wiley. "Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402153623.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

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