Event Details

PHO Rounds: Beyond Flu: Trends in respiratory infection outbreaks in Ontario healthcare settings from 2007 to 2017, and implications for non-influenza outbreak management

Respiratory outbreaks cause significant morbidity and mortality in healthcare settings. While current testing methods can identify specific viral respiratory pathogens, the approach to outbreak management remains more generalized and does not take into account pathogen-specific factors with the exception of influenza and more recently SARS-COV-2. 

This presentation will examine a study on pathogen-specific respiratory outbreak trends; focusing on how attack rates, case fatality rates and outbreak duration differed by pathogen between healthcare settings in Ontario. Data for confirmed respiratory outbreaks in Ontario healthcare settings reported between 2007 and 2017 were extracted from iPHIS. Median attack rates, outbreak duration and overall case fatality rates were compared for pathogen-specific outbreaks. 

Findings demonstrate that tailoring outbreak control measures to account for pathogen and setting could reduce viral transmission within these vulnerable populations. The session will also include consideration of the impact of COVID-19 infection control practices on non-COVID-19 outbreaks in Ontario healthcare settings in 2020. 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify viral respiratory pathogens commonly associated with outbreaks in Ontario healthcare settings
  2. Outline pathogen-specific respiratory infection outbreak trends in Ontario from 2007-2017
  3. List several considerations for pathogen-specific outbreak management
  4. Describe the impact of COVID-19 infection control practices on non-COVID outbreaks in Ontario healthcare settings in 2020

Presenter(s): Camille Achonu and Katherine Paphitis

Camille Achonu is an Epidemiologist Lead within the Research, Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement team at Public Health Ontario. She specializes in research and surveillance activities focused on healthcare associated infections (HAI) and antimicrobial resistant organisms (ARO).   

Katherine Paphitis is a Regional IPAC Specialist at Public Health Ontario. She is a certified Public Health Inspector, holds an MSc in Epidemiology and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Population Medicine at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), with a research focus on outbreak detection and public health surveillance. 



Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca .


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca.

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Capacity Building


Updated 27 Aug 2021