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You are working in the local public health unit and you have been tasked with developing a Communicable Disease Control Plan for the prevention, preparedness and response to a measles outbreak in a boarding school in consultation with the school nurse and a team of teachers.
1. Governance Arrangements
1.1 Authority to develop and implement the plan
The detection of communicable diseases is based on the capacity of the concerned authority to effectively identify their epidemiology in the region of interest. The presented CDCP plan for measles preparedness, prevention, and the response is jointly developed by the local public health unit in coordination with the team of teachers and nurse of the boarding school. The school management is solely responsible for the implementation of the recommended measles prevention and control plan. However, the local public health unit is bound to periodically evaluate the CDCP implementation outcomes across the school premises. The plan will improvise the establishment of a routine screening and surveillance methodology with the core objective of acquiring the clinical information of confirmed measles cases for their mitigation and treatment.
1.2 The aim of the plan
The presented CDCP will recommend measles' preparedness, prevention, control, and response strategies to minimize the prevalence of this disease in the target population. The plan will also provide policy recommendation and vaccine action strategies to control the progression and establishment of measles across the community environment. The plan will also improvise safety and quality immunization strategies and treatment/response standards to proactively challenge measles epidemics and associated complications across the school premises.
1.3 Objectives of the plan
The presented CDCP will prescribe the standards and norms for the systematic implementation of measles prevention and control measures across the school premises. The recommended plan will define various response strategies, stakeholders' roles and communication/treatment plan in the context of preventing, mitigating or treating the measles outbreak across the community environment.
1.4 Relevant legislation and supporting policies
Australian measles control and prevention guidelines are based on the experience of healthcare professionals/clinicians and best practice interventions that utilize evidence-based literature to control measles outbreaks across the community environment (1). The relevant legislation and supporting practices/conventions related to measles management advocate the need for identifying the suspected cases through laboratory confirmation. The guidelines emphasize the requirement of collecting specimens from each case across the transmission chain for affirming measles outbreak. The conventions specify the requirement of evaluating sporadic cases to evaluate the measles transmission pattern in the specified location. The conventions also indicate the requirement of childhood education and isolation policy to quarantine the infected cases for reducing the risk of their contact with the healthy children. National Health Security Act emphasizes the requirement of developing a well-defined public health surveillance system to improve the capacity of the Australian territories and states in the context of minimizing the risk of communicable diseases (including measles) (2).
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