An outbreak of an illness occurs when there is an increase in the number of people who live in the same area and are infected around the same time by an organism such as a virus or bacteria. A community may have an outbreak of the flu or measles as these specific viruses spread very easily through the air, through direct contact, or through contact with objects exposed to the droplets of the virus.
Organisms passed to people from insects or rodents can cause outbreaks too. These outbreaks usually do not spread much beyond the region where the rodents or insects live.
Adaptation Date: 3/7/2016
Adapted By: HealthLink BC
Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
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HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service representative, who can also connect you with a:
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- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
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If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
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Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.