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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Isolation and quarantine during pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in NSW: the operational experience of public health units Volume 21 Issue 1-2

Philippa L. Binns, Vicky Sheppeard, Michael P. Staff

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 21(2) 10–15 Published online: 8 April 2010

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About the author/s

Philippa L. Binns | Public Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service

Vicky Sheppeard | Public Health Unit, Sydney West Area Health Service

Michael P. Staff | Public Health Unit, Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service

Corresponding author

Philippa L. Binns | [email protected]


During the DELAY and CONTAIN phases of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in NSW, public health units needed to rapidly surge operations to manage the 3070 potential cases and 1894 contacts notified to them. The Incident Control System, NetEpi (the web-based multi-user access database), training to up-skill surge staff, and electronic communication were all integral to the outbreak response. Ongoing identification and training of surge staff would assist a timely and effective response to future large scale outbreaks. Investing and incorporating information technology tools into routine public health unit business to assist with communication, outbreak management and reporting will improve familiarity and capability within the network to respond to public health emergencies.