Background: This report describes the investigation and public health management of a community-based outbreak of severe adenovirus serotype 14p1 respiratory infection affecting the Tayside area during 2011. It is the first report of an adenovirus outbreak involving prisons.
Methods: An outbreak-based/incident management approach was carried out. Alerts were sent out to local doctors, general practitioners, prison healthcare staff and consultants so that cases could be identified prospectively. Sequencing of hexon, fibre and E1A regions of adenovirus were carried out to genotype the viruses.
Results: Fifteen cases were identified in total, including 13 confirmed cases and 2 possible cases. There were 3 deaths amongst the 13 confirmed cases, with a case fatality rate of 23%. Eight of the cases had a direct association with one of the two prisons in the area.
Conclusions: We advise that surveillance measures for adenovirus infection and guidelines for the management of critically ill patients should be developed in order to identify outbreaks at an early stage and allow patients to receive appropriate treatment. Adenovirus infection should be borne in mind as a cause of severe pneumonia in closed settings such as prisons.
Keywords: adenovirus; outbreak; pneumonia; prison; sequencing.
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