Haemolytic uraemic syndrome

Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: HUS is a thrombotic microangiopathy that is characterised by haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and acute renal dysfunction. Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a primary cause of HUS, although other pathogens and medications can cause this syndrome.
  • STEC transmission: faecal-oral, food-borne, water-borne and animal-person.
  • STEC incubation period: From 1 to 10 days (usually 2 to 4 days).
  • STEC infectious period: Most infectious while symptomatic. The infectious dose is low. The duration of excretion of the pathogen is typically ≤1 week in adults but 3 weeks in 1/3 of children. Use contact transmission- based precautions for hospitalised and institutionalised patients.
  • Case exclusion: Exclusions for HUS apply to cases caused by STEC/VTEC only. Patients diagnosed with STEC should be excluded until asymptomatic, including normal stools, for 24 hours. If patient works in health-care, aged-care, child-care or is a food handler or attends child-care, exclude until clearance specimens have been completed. See OD 0645/16 Guidelines for exclusion of people with enteric infections and their contacts from work, school and child-care settings (external site).
  • Contact exclusion: Do not exclude.
  • Treatment: Oral rehydration and appropriate treatment as recommended by the doctor.
  • Immunisation: None available.
  • Case follow-up: Cases followed up the Communicable Disease Control Directorate with assistance from the public health units (Healthy WA).

Guidelines

Notifiable disease data and reports

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Public Health