It is a Tuesday evening at 4:59pm and you are leaving the local health department where you serve as the lead epidemiologist.

It is a Tuesday evening at 4:59pm and you are leaving the local health department where you serve as the lead epidemiologist. The phone rings, when you answer, it is the Health Services director at a local, residential college. The students arrived on Campus on Saturday, by today, several dozen students have reported to the college health clinic with nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The first student reported to the clinic at 8:15am, by 4:30, the clinic had seen 3 dozen cases. There are 3001 students at the college.
Question 1: Which of the following agents would you suspect? Provide the incubation period for each.
Disease Suspect, YES or NO Incubation Period Provide a direct link to your source
Salmonellosis
Shigellosis
Staph aureus
Bacillus cereus
Norovirus
E. coli

Question 2: What is the current attack rate of the disease? (show your work)

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 22nd 5pm
Since this afternoon, 75 additional students have reported ill to the clinic, an additional seven went to the local hospital due to advanced symptoms. In addition, you have learned that at least one parent, who was dropping their child off at the college, has reported to their local hospital with similar symptoms.
You call the local hospital to get information regarding the seven students who went there and learn that all seven were admitted and are being treated with fluids. The hospital tells you it has collected stool samples and sent them to the lab for analysis.

Question 3: Which of the following should you do next? (include an answer for each option)
Option Yes OR No ? Rationale
Do we have a verified diagnosis?
Should we declare an outbreak?

Question 4: What information do we need about the people who are ill?
Question 5: Provide a case definition
Question 6: Provide an updated attack rate (show your work)
UPDATE, Thursday, August 23rd, 10am
The hospital laboratory tested samples came back positive for Staphylococcus aureus.
Question 7: Provide epidemiological overview of Staph, aureus.


 


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