OPM 090010-Communicable Disease Report Writing – Medical Science Assignment Help

Assignment Task


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Assessment task:

Outbreak investigation Intent: Students develop skills in outbreak investigation by applying knowledge of communicable disease epidemiology, surveillance, and control.

Case study

Part 1:

On the morning of the 5th of August 2021, a GP from a local practice reported a possible foodborne outbreak to a local public health unit after attending to a few patients one of whom was a young child. The child, aged 5 years, along with two other children in the neighbourhood, aged 7 and 10 years, had become ill with vomiting and diarrhea within 12 hours of each other. The 5-year old child had become so sick that she was taken to the emergency department at the local hospital. The mother reported that her child initially complained of nausea around 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd of August which was followed by vomiting and multiple episodes of diarrhea. The child was unable to eat or drink anything without vomiting, and became listless in the evening. The woman took the child to the emergency department where upon examination, she had a fever and was dehydrated. Stool and blood specimens were collected, and the child was treated with intravenous fluids and later discharged. The two neighbourhood children had had similar symptoms (i.e., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever) which were milder in comparison to the woman’s child. Their symptoms started a few hours earlier than her child’s. Both had returned to school the day after becoming ill.

The three children usually did not play together but had attended a birthday party on Sunday morning, the 1st of August which had taken place at a private indoor swimming pool in Maroubra. Approximately 30 children and adults were in attendance. Cake, ice cream, and canned drinks were served at the party. All refreshments had been commercially prepared. 

PART 1: Based on the information provided:

Question 1:

Describe the surveillance mechanism used for notification of this outbreak. What are the roles of surveillance in the control and management of outbreaks such as this?

Question 2: What questions (or types of questions) would you ask the mother to help determine the seriousness of this problem and the steps needed to explore the problem further?

Question 3: What etiologic agents are consistent with the illness among the children?

Question 4: On the basis of the information provided so far, what actions would you take? Whom would you contact? What additional information would you be interested in collecting?

Part 2: Outbreak description & management.

Follow-up calls with the birthday attendees revealed that 21 people had fallen ill. All reported having used the swimming pool during the party with some having had used the pool before the party (Table 1). Signs and symptoms included vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headache. Symptoms began a median of 30 hours (range: 8?62 hours) after visiting the pool. Table 1 below is a line list of persons becoming ill after a visit to the private pool in Maroubra between July 27 – August 1.


*V = vomiting; D = diarrhea (defined as 3 or more loose stools in a 24-hour period); F = fever; N = nausea; C = abdominal cramps; and H = headache.

Question 5:

Briefly summarise the descriptive epidemiology of cases. Do signs and symptoms among patients support your earlier suspicions about the causative agent?

Question 6:

Draw an epidemic curve based on the information provided in Table 1. What is the pattern of the epidemic curve? Are there any clues to support this pattern?

Question 7:

What studies or investigations would you undertake to determine the source of this outbreak? What is the likely mode of transmission for this outbreak?

Question 8:

Reflecting on your knowledge of the chain of infection, what measures can be taken to limit the spread of this infection and control the outbreak?

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