W. Va. Code R. § 64-7-7 - Other Reportable Events: Disease Outbreaksor Clusters

Current through Register Vol. XXXVIII, No. 51, December 23, 2021

7.1. When a health care facility, health care provider laboratory, school, daycare, camp, vessel, correctional facility or other facility becomes aware of an outbreak or cluster in a community, school, camp, daycare, health care facility, correctional facility or other facility or related to a restaurant or food establishment, it shall report the outbreak to the local health officer immediately.
7.2. When the local health officer becomes aware of an outbreak in his or her jurisdiction, he or she shall notify the Bureau immediately by calling toll-free (800) 423-1271.
7.3. As appropriate, the local health officer shall collaborate in investigation of the outbreak or cluster with:
7.3.a. Other local health officers if cases from other local health jurisdictions are identified;
7.3.b. Public health officials from other states if cases from those states are identified;
7.3.c. The department; and
7.3.d. Federal public health officials.
7.4. An appropriate investigation generally includes:
7.4.a. Establishment of the existence of the outbreak;
7.4.b. Confirmation of the diagnosis, including obtaining appropriate laboratory examinations of cases;
7.4.c. Formulation of an appropriate case definition;
7.4.d. Case-finding, to include:
7.4.d.1. Notification of laboratories and providers in the jurisdiction to identify and report additional cases; or
7.4.d.2. Notification of the school, camp, daycare, health care facility or food establishment or other facility or location to identify and report additional cases; or
7.4.d.3. Public notification to identify and report additional cases, only if other means of case-finding are not feasible;
7.4.e. Systematic collection of demographic, clinical, laboratory and epidemiological information on the cases;
7.4.f. Formulation and implementation of control measures to stem the spread of the outbreak;
7.4.g. Formulation and implementation of special studies to determine the source of the outbreak;
7.4.h. Summarization of the findings of the outbreak investigation in written form; and
7.4.i. Ongoing surveillance to establish that the outbreak is over.
7.5. In the process of outbreak investigation, the Commissioner, in collaboration with the local health officer, may perform epidemiological studies, including case-control, cross-sectional and cohort studies which involve interviews and evaluations of ill persons and well persons. Interviews and evaluations of ill and well persons are confidential and not discoverable under the state freedom of information act, W. Va. Code § 29B-1-1, et seq. Information may only be released in aggregate for the purpose of informing the public of the conclusions of the investigation.
7.6. In the process of outbreak investigation, the Commissioner, in collaboration with the local health officer, may request laboratory studies on ill persons and/or well persons including persons suspected of being exposed to or carrying an infectious agent. Laboratory results obtained on ill and well persons are confidential and not discoverable under the state freedom of information act, W. Va. Code 29B-1-1 et seq. Information may only be released in aggregate for the purposes of informing the public of the conclusions of the investigation.
7.7. The Commissioner or the local health officer shall not disclose the identity of the community, school, camp, daycare, healthcare facility, restaurant or food establishment or other setting where an outbreak or cluster of disease occurs, unless the release is necessary to inform the public to take preventive action to stop the spread of disease or to notify providers or laboratories to identify additional cases of disease. Data on community outbreaks and clusters may be released by the Commissioner in aggregate on a regular basis, identifying the county of occurrence of the outbreak or cluster. Data on healthcare-associated outbreaks and clusters may be released by the Commissioner in aggregate on a regular basis, identifying the surveillance region of occurrence of the outbreak or cluster.
7.8. If the Commissioner becomes aware of an ongoing risk to public health through investigation of an outbreak in a healthcare facility and the healthcare facility fails to take appropriate corrective action within a reasonable period of time after notification by the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall file a complaint with the Office of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification. If the Commissioner becomes aware that a licensed practitioner is practicing in such a way as to place the health of the public at risk and the licensed practitioner fails to take appropriate corrective action within a reasonable period of time after notification by the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall file a complaint with the practitioner's licensing board.
7.9. During the course of an outbreak or exposure investigation, if the Commissioner learns of patient who may have been exposed to a serious infectious condition, such as, but not limited to, hepatitis B or C or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the health of the patient or their family members or close contacts may be at risk, the Commissioner shall notify the patient of the nature of the exposure or possible exposure and action that may be taken by the patient to prevent further risk to their health or the health of their family members or close contacts. In the course of notification of the patient, the Commissioner may identify a healthcare provider or health care facility to the extent necessary to inform the patient of the nature of the exposure or possible exposure.

Notes

W. Va. Code R. § 64-7-7

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