Revised 2014

An outbreak is:

  • Two or more cases of enteric illness linked in terms of time, exposure to source and most often location
  • Two or more cases with similar symptoms in a classroom in a 48 hour period

If You Suspect an Outbreak

Immediately follow these steps if you suspect an outbreak:

  1. Isolate all ill children until they can be taken home and send ill staff home
  2. Notify parents or emergency contacts to pick-up ill children as soon as possible
  3. Start a line list: record names, date of birth, gender, all symptoms, the date and time children and staff became ill and their room number or type (e.g., infant room or toddler room)
  4. Start additional control measures:
    • Adequate supplies for hand¬† cleaning and disinfecting
    • Appropriate disinfectant to kill circulating organism
    • Suspend water and sensory play activities
    • Reinforce with staff, children, and visitors the importance of keeping hands clean
  5. Contact staff and the parents of children that are away from your day nursery (before the outbreak was declared) to inform them of the outbreak and to identify if they are cases (e.g., do they have similar signs and symptoms of those currently ill?) If so, add them to the line list.
  6. Contact Toronto Public Health (TPH) to report the outbreak by calling the Communicable Diseases Surveillance Unit at 416-392-7411.Have the following information ready when you call TPH:
    1. Name and address of day nursery (name of school if in TDSB or TCDSB location)
    2. Name of Day Nursery supervisor or person reporting outbreak
    3. List of symptoms
    4. Onset date, symptoms and duration of symptoms of the first case of illness
    5. Most recent case of illness, date, symptoms, and duration of illness
    6. Population at risk per room
    7. Number of ill per room
    8. Any lab results or medical diagnosis of children off ill
  7. Obtain permission from parents to submit stool specimen samples to the Public Health Laboratory