Legionnaires' disease outbreak investigation toolbox

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Creating a Line listing

A template line listing is provided here . See below for further details.

Constructing a Line listing

A line listing is an information table describing persons associated with an outbreak. It includes basic descriptive epidemiological information and orients the outbreak by time, place and person. Information often includes identifying information (name, phone number, county of residence), demographic information (date of birth, sex, occupation); date and time of onset and recovery; symptoms experienced and other important factors (microbiology, hospitalisations, diagnosis, potential exposures). It is a unique record for each individual with a unique identifier and helps to avoid confusion with multiple versions. It can be updated as the investigation develops and allows regular, automated, computerised analysis.

Using information from a line listing

Frequency distributions of demographic factors such as age, race and sex provide further information about potential outbreak exposures and risk of disease.

Frequency distributions of potential risk factors such as occupation, recreational activities and places visited may provide insights into the outbreak source.

Geographic Information Systems can be used to plot locations such as residence or employment locations. This information can provide clues to potential exposure patterns in the outbreak. If the overall population varies in different areas on the map, the investigator should plot the attack rate in each area (instead of number of cases) because plotting only the number of cases can be misleading.