Wellbeing (e.g. Youth, Community, Mental)
Sharing Session - 30 Minutes
Elderly persons represent an affected population due to having a unique set of health problems, psychological dispositions, and functional impairments. Those living in nursing homes are at increased risk of acquiring an infectious disease due to congregate living and consistent flow of visitors, staff, and residents who bring in pathogens from hospitals and the community. Outbreaks are common and it is the goal of health department staff to work with these facilities to stop outbreaks quickly and safely.
In a typical year, communicable disease staff at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH Sarasota) investigate 20 to 25 outbreaks. The vast majority of outbreaks are norovirus and influenza, however scabies is also a common reported condition. DOH Sarasota communicable disease staff believe that underreporting of outbreaks may exist due to a lack of knowledge reporting requirements or potential negative consequences if reported.
To combat the lack of knowledge, DOH Sarasota communicable disease staff developed an outbreak reporting resource guide for nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In addition to the resource guide, a one page “Outbreak reporting and control steps” quick reference was also developed. The intent of these references was to educate nursing home staff on outbreak control strategies, and provide them with an understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and resources available from the health department.
During this session, DOH Sarasota communicable disease staff will review the process utilized to develop and disperse the Outbreak Resource Guide and strategies and lessons learned during project implementation.