Outbreak


Outbreak

Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent. Two linked cases of a rare infectious disease may be sufficient to constitute an outbreak. Outbreaks may also refer to epidemics, which affect a region in a country or a group of countries, or pandemics, which describe global disease outbreaks.

Contents

Outbreak investigation

When investigating disease outbreaks, the epidemiology profession has developed a number of widely accepted steps. As described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these include the following:[1]

  • Verify the diagnosis related to the outbreak
  • Identify the existence of the outbreak (Is the group of ill persons normal for the time of year, geographic area, etc.?)
  • Create a case definition to define who/what is included as a case
  • Map the spread of the outbreak using Information technology as diagnosis is reported to insurance
  • Develop a hypothesis (What appears to be causing the outbreak?)
  • Study hypothesis (collect data and perform analysis)
  • Refine hypothesis and carry out further study
  • Develop and implement control and prevention systems
  • Release findings to greater communities

Types

There are several outbreak patterns, which can be useful in identifying the transmission method or source, and predicting the future rate of infection. Each has a distinctive epidemic curve, or histogram of case infections and deaths.[2]

  • Common source – All victims acquire the infection from the same source (e.g. a contaminated water supply).[3]
    • Continuous source – Common source outbreak where the exposure occurs over multiple incubation periods
    • Point source – Common source outbreak where the exposure occurs in less than one incubation period[4]
  • Propagated – Transmission occurs from person to person.[5]

Outbreaks can also be:

  • Zoonotic – The infectious agent is endemic to an animal population.

Patterns of occurrence are:

  • Endemic – a communicable disease, such as influenza, measles, mumps, pneumonia, colds, small pox, which is characteristic of a particular place, or among a particular group, or area of interest or activity
  • Epidemic – when this disease is found to infect a significantly larger number of people at the same time than is common at that time, and among that population, and may spread through one or several communities.
  • Pandemic – occurs when an epidemic spreads worldwide.

Outbreak legislation

Outbreak legislation is still in its infancy and not many countries have had a direct and complete set of the provisions.[7][8] However, some countries do manage the outbreaks using relevant acts, such as public health law.[9]

References

  1. ^ Steps of an Outbreak Investigation, EXCITE | Epidemiology in the Classroom | Outbreak Steps
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Glossary of Epidemiology Terms, Cdc.gov (2007-04-25). Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  4. ^ Glossary of Epidemiology Terms. Cdc.gov (2007-04-25). Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  5. ^ Glossary of Epidemiology Terms. Cdc.gov (2007-04-25). Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "Bioterrorism Training and Curriculum Development Program". http://library.scahec.net/view/product/32. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  8. ^ Star Publications. "‘Outbreak actions protected by law’". http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/16/courts/21834412&sec=courts. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  9. ^ The State of Queensland Government. "Legislation and Powers of Entry". http://www.health.qld.gov.au/dengue/managing_outbreaks/legislation.asp. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 

External links


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Outbreak — Título Estallido (España) Epidemia (Hispanoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Wolfgang Petersen Producción Gail Katz Arnold Kopelson …   Wikipedia Español

  • outbreak — out break , n. 1. A bursting forth; eruption; insurrection; mutiny; revolt. Mobs and outbreaks. J. H. Newman. [1913 Webster] The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A sudden beginning of a violent event; as, the outbreak… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • outbreak — (n.) eruption (of disease, hostilities, etc.), c.1600, from OUT (Cf. out) + BREAK (Cf. break) (v.). Outbreak was a verb in Middle English (c.1300) …   Etymology dictionary

  • outbreak — I noun affray, aggression, agitation, assault, attack, bloodshed, blow up, brawl, breach, breach of the peace, burst, cataclysm, commotion, conflict, convulsion, declaration of war, disruption, disturbance, ebullition, eruption, explosion,… …   Law dictionary

  • outbreak — [n] sudden happening beginning, blowup, brawl, break, breaking, burst, bursting, commencement, commotion, convulsion, crack, crash, dawn, detonation, discharge, disorder, disruption, ebullition, effervescence, epidemic, eruption, explosion, fit,… …   New thesaurus

  • outbreak — ► NOUN ▪ a sudden or violent occurrence of war, disease, etc …   English terms dictionary

  • outbreak — [out′brāk΄] n. 1. a breaking out; sudden occurrence, as of disease or war 2. an insurrection or riot …   English World dictionary

  • outbreak — 01. With tensions mounting between the different ethnic groups, the U.N. fears the [outbreak] of a civil war. 02. Decreased tourist revenues are believed to be the result of the SARS [outbreak] in Canada. 03. The Queen s visit has been postponed… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • Outbreak — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Outbreak – Lautlose Killer Originaltitel Outbreak …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • outbreak — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ large, major, serious, severe ▪ fresh (esp. BrE), further (esp. BrE), new ▪ recent …   Collocations dictionary


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