Medical Council of Canada

Medical expert

Outbreak Management - 78-5

Rationale

Physicians are crucial participants in the control of outbreaks of disease. They must be able to diagnose cases, recognize outbreaks, report these to public health authorities and work with authorities to limit the spread of the outbreak. A common example includes physicians working in nursing homes and being asked to assist in the control of an outbreak of influenza or diarrhea.

Key Objectives

  • Know the defining characteristics of an outbreak and how to recognize one when it occurs.
  • Demonstrate essential skills involved in controlling an outbreak and its impact on the public, in collaboration with public health authorities as appropriate.

Enabling Objectives

  • Define an outbreak in terms of an excessive number of cases beyond that usually expected.
  • Describe and understand the main steps in outbreak management and prevention.
  • Demonstrate skills in effective outbreak management including infection control when the outbreak is due to an infectious agent.
  • Describe the different types of infection control practices and justify which type is most appropriately implemented for different outbreak conditions.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills with patients and the community as a whole.
  • Describe appropriate approaches to prevent or reduce the risk of the outbreak recurring.
Next: Environment