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Outbreak guidelines

Be prepared for an outbreak!

  • Ensure SMDHU Contact Information is easy to access for staff

Communicable Diseases Reporting Line

1 877 721-7520 ext. 8809 (weekdays between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm)

After hours on-call line: 1 888 225-7851 Confidential Fax Line:  705 733-7738

Steps to Take When You Suspect an Outbreak

  • Notify the health unit of a suspected outbreak.
  • Create a case definition (i.e. Any camper or staff with two episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea within 24 hours).
  • Start a separate line list for both staff and campers
  • Review and implement control measures as per the outbreak management checklists.
  • Fax the completed line lists (both camper and staff) and signed outbreak management checklist to the SMDHU.
  • Specimen Collection:
    • Enteric Outbreaks:
      • Collect stool samples from campers/staff with the most recent onset of enteric symptoms. 
      • All specimens need to be labelled and bagged prior to pick up. 
    • Respiratory Outbreaks:
      • Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs are used during respiratory outbreaks but need to be specially ordered.
      • If campers/staff are being brought to a clinic/hospital, please request a NP swab be taken by the clinician.
    • Contact the SMDHU to arrange pickup and delivery of samples, even if taken from a clinic/hospital.
  • Continue to fax the updated line lists to the SMDHU investigator on a daily basis
  • Continue to monitor campers and staff and add the appropriate information to the line list for the duration of the outbreak.
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