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Influenza and gastroenteritis illnesses are important issues in residential care. Aged care facility residents, particularly the elderly, are often vulnerable to these infections due to co-morbidities and/or advanced age, and the communal living environment facilitates the spread of illness.

The Public Health Unit provides support and advice to aged care facilities about infection control and outbreak management.

Aged care facilities should contact their Public Health Unit  by phone as soon as possible if they suspect a disease outbreak. The contact phone number for the Infectious Disease team at the Northern Sydney Public Health Unit is (02) 9477 9187 during business hours. After hours, contact Hornsby Hospital on (02) 9477 9123 and ask to speak to the Public Health Officer on call.

An influenza outbreak is defined as three or more cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in residents or staff within a 72 hour period.  

An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness is defined as 2 or more people with diarrhoea (3 or more loose stools) AND/OR vomiting (2 or more vomits) in a 24 hour period, when the illness cannot be attributed to a known cause - e.g. an existing medical condition or the use of medications such as antibiotics or aperients (laxatives).

The resorces below are useful for managing outbreaks.

 

Influenza Outbreak Resources

 

Gastroenteritis Outbreak Resources

To contact the Public Health Unit email us or phone (02) 9382 8333 during business hours. For disease notification after hours, phone (02) 9382 2222 and ask for the Public Health Officer on call.

 

 

 

To contact the Public Health Unit email us or phone (02) 9382 8333 during business hours. For disease notification after hours, phone (02) 9382 2222 and ask for the Public Health Officer on call.