Epidemiological information: Outbreak of Hepatitis A

Related Public Health Notice

June 21, 2016

What is epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of disease in a population. Epidemiologists, or "disease detectives," use surveillance systems to identify those who are sick and confirm that the sick people are part of this event. They then gather information from the people who got sick and review the clues from all parts of the investigation that might reveal the cause of the illness event.

The figure below forms part of the epidemiological investigation into this outbreak. An "epi curve" (Figure 1) is a valuable reference tool in any epidemiological investigation. An epi curve shows when cases begin, when they peak, and when they trail off. Certain details of the people who got sick (Table 1) also help epidemiologists as they work to solve the questions involved in foodborne illness.

Figure 1. Number of people confirmed with Hepatitis A*

* Information based on 25 of 25 cases.

Text equivalent for figure 1
Table 1. People confirmed with Hepatitis A, by week of illness onset
Week of illness onset or specimen collection Number of cases

Note: It can take several weeks from the time a person becomes ill to when this illness is reported and testing confirms a link to the outbreak.

Feb 7 0
Feb 14 0
Feb 21 1
Feb 28 1
Mar 6 1
Mar 13 2
Mar 20 4
Mar 27 3
Apr 3 1
Apr 10 3
Apr 17 3
Apr 24 1
May 1 4
May 8 1
May 15 0

Table 1: At a Glance
Outbreak status Ongoing
Information available for 25 of 25 cases
Case count 25
Provinces/Territories 3
Hospitalizations 10
Deaths 0
Gender (m:f) 14:11
Age range in years 10-70
Recall Yes
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