Outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis are common especially in residential care settings and child care centres. Outbreaks are controlled by good hygiene, isolation of ill patients and disinfection.
A gastroenteritis outbreak occurs when two or more people have sudden onset of vomiting or diarrhoea at the same time in the same institution. In childcare centres and schools, you should suspect viral gastroenteritis if two or more children or staff have vomiting or diarrhoea within a two day period.
Viral gastroenteritis is highly infectious and outbreaks are very common and can be difficult to control. Outbreaks often occur in institutional settings such as nursing homes, hospitals, child care centres and schools. There are several things you can do to help reduce the spread of infection.
Good hand hygiene is the most effective way of preventing the spread of infection.
Alcohol hand rub can be used to clean your hands for other situations.
The following precautions should be taken to restrict the spread of gastroenteritis:
Managers of facilities where an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis is occurring or suspected should:
Public health unit staff have expertise in managing infectious disease outbreaks. Your local public health unit can provide advice and assistance on controlling further spread of the outbreak, samples that should be collected, and the type of testing that should be carried out.
Viral Gastroenteritis Factsheet
For further information please call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055