Understanding gastroenteritis in elderly residents of aged-care facilities

Martyn D Kirk, Leslee Roberts and John Horvath
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02136.x
Published online: 3 November 2008

Early identification of outbreaks allows carers and public health agencies to reduce the burden of this disease

Recently, serious outbreaks of foodborne gastroenteritis occurring in aged-care facilities (ACFs) have captured public and media attention. Gastroenteritis will occur in settings where people gather, even when standards of care and food hygiene are very high. Some infections are inevitable due to the susceptibility of the population and the highly infectious and persistent nature of enteric pathogens. Early recognition of an outbreak and identification of the responsible organism enable interventions that can reduce the impact of disease.

  • Martyn D Kirk1
  • Leslee Roberts2
  • John Horvath3

  • Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, ACT.


Competing interests:

Martyn Kirk is a recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council Scholarship. Since 2001, he has been employed by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to conduct research into foodborne diseases under the OzFoodNet program.


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