Gastroenteritis - a guide for institutions fact sheet
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Notification of gastroenteritis outbreaks
Public health legislation in Tasmania changed after Parliament passed the Public Health (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2015. The HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993 (HIV Act) no longer exists, consequential changes occurred to the Corrections Act 1997, and parts of the Public Health Act 1997 have changed. Consequently, there were revised Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants, which have been effective from 18 January 2016 (hereafter referred to as ‘the Guidelines’)
The Public Health Act requires that certain medical conditions be notified to the Director of Public Health (DPH). This includes outbreaks of diseases which should be notified to the Communicable Disease Prevention Unit (CDPU) by institutions.
The Guidelines require the superintendent and the senior health professional responsible for care in a residential, educational, healthcare, or childcare facility, who is aware or suspects there is an outbreak of gastroenteritis in the institution to notify the DPH of the outbreak and provide details of the outbreak cases. Notification facilitates public health action and the provision of assistance in the management of these outbreaks and to control the spread of disease.
This notification requirement in the Guidelines formalises the processes which have been occurring for some time as it has been common for childcare centres and aged care facilities to notify public health of an outbreak in their institution.
Notification of a suspected gastroenteritis outbreak
You can notify the Public Health Hotline (Tasmania) of a suspected gastroenteritis outbreak in an institution by calling 1800 671 738.
The list of the current notifiable diseases and the Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants can be found on our Public Health Act and associated guidelines page.