Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Articles Information
Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Vol.3, No.4, Aug. 2017, Pub. Date: Oct. 30, 2017
Response to Outbreak at Densely Populated Settings, Identifying Fragilities and Closing Gaps
Pages: 22-26 Views: 892 Downloads: 197
Authors
[01] Hamid Y. Hussein, Health Affairs Department, Primary Health Care Services Sector, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE.
[02] Waleed Al Faisal, Health Affairs Department, Primary Health Care Services Sector, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE.
Abstract
Scientific response to an infectious diseases outbreak is recognized as a key strategic element of successful containment of health threats. This study aims to identify key gaps in infectious disease outbreaks response, and to identify strategies to promote interactions between research and practitioner communities to begin to address these gaps. A major and long term chickenpox outbreak took place at one of the private primary school classes in Dubai for the period of 7th 2016 December to 1st of march 2017, a total number of 37 chickenpox cases where identified of different age, gender, national and immunization status background. The study revealed that the outbreak started at first with two cases of chickenpox. As outbreak origin appeared on seventh of December 2016, it was followed by other sporadic or multiple cases on different dates. The outbreak epidemic cure took the shape of propagated epidemic curve, which kept hick ting up and down but never declines to the zero index. Until 20 February, the investigation showed that 17 cases of the chickenpox outbreak occurred at age of 6 years, 13 cases at age of 7, and 5 cases at age of 8. This reflects the fact that the younger age group is more susceptible. The study results reflected that 70% of the outbreak population were male and 30% were females. As per nationalities, the outbreak distributed more among Arab nationalities from expatriates in Dubai (86.5%, followed by 8.1% non-Arab expatriates and only 5.4% among UAE Citizens). Despite routine and supplementary case investigation activities, Public Health team could not confirm any epidemiologic links between outbreak cases. The gaps in case detection and investigation revealed by this unusual outbreak can inform future outbreak response activities. Identifying and closing gaps in outbreak investigation and response is kept as an important opportunity to improve case outcomes and stopping further damages. The resources for any additional activities need to be weighed against what is already required to meet the current chickenpox outbreak investigation standards. There is a need to improve the ability and accurate description of the epidemiology of major and long term chickenpox outbreak among confirmed cases.
Keywords
Outbreak, Gaps, Epidemiological Exercise
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