Outbreaks of infectious diseases in healthcare facilities: Issues of epidemiological diagnostics and preanalytical stage

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Abstract


Background. The issue of outbreaks of infectious diseases in healthcare facilities is not often discussed in the scientific community. Several years ago, the primary etiological agents of outbreaks in hospitals were bacteria, whereas in most cases under modern conditions, outbreak incidence is caused by viruses.

Aim. Based on the analysis of research materials on outbreaks of infectious diseases in healthcare facilities of Ural and Siberian Federal Districts, this work aimed to characterize infectious diseases under contemporary conditions and identify problematic issues of the preanalytical stage of epidemiological diagnostics and the organization of preventive and anti-epidemic measures.

Methods. The data of federal statistical monitoring form No. 23 “Information on outbreaks of infectious diseases” (18 units of information) and the copy of the “Acts of an epidemiological investigation of foci of infectious (parasitic) diseases with the establishment of a causal relationship” (14 units of information) were analyzed. The work used epidemiological and statistical methods of information processing. The significance of differences between the indices of independent samples was evaluated using Fisher’s exact test.

Results. In 2018, 14 outbreaks of infectious diseases were recorded in healthcare facilities in 7 out of 18 subjects in Ural and Siberian Federal Districts. The total number of victims was 183 people (97 (53.0%) children and 86 (47.0%) adults). Most of the outbreaks (12 of 14; 85.7%) were of viral etiology. One outbreak was of bacterial, and one was of fungal origin.

Discussion. Viruses played a key role in the formation of foci with multiple diseases in the healthcare facilities of Ural and Siberian Federal Districts in 2018. Most of the foci of infection with an aerogenic transmission mechanism were caused by varicella-zoster virus, and those with fecal–oral transmission mechanism were etiologically associated with Norwalk virus. Children were the most vulnerable contingents in outbreaks in the healthcare facilities. In all the situations analyzed, the prerequisites for an outbreak include the untimely isolation of the source of infection, hospital overload, and inadequate financial and logistical support. Anti-epidemic measures were conducted to the fullest extent during outbreaks of acute intestinal infections in comparison with outbreaks of a different etiology.

Conclusion. Most outbreaks registered in the hospitals could be prevented by vaccination of the related population.


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About the authors

Svetlana S. Smirnova

Ekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral Infections; Ural State Medical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: smirnova_ss69@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9749-4611

Russian Federation, Ekaterinburg

к.м.н.

Tatyana S. Yuzhanina

Ekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral Infections

Email: tanya.yuzhanina@bk.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7004-2204

Russian Federation, Ekaterinburg

Lyudmila G. Vyatkina

Ekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral Infections

Email: lus-v@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1944-3827

Russian Federation, Ekaterinburg

Alla A. Golubkova

Central Scientific and Research Institute of Epidemiology

Email: allagolubkova@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4812-2165

Russian Federation, Moscow

д.м.н., профессор, ведущий науч. сотр.

Alexander V. Alimov

Central Scientific and Research Institute of Epidemiology

Email: alexalimov@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0511-9409

Russian Federation, Moscow

к.м.н.

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