Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-17-2017


Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and a public health priority. However, standard procedures and comprehensive guidelines for HAI outbreak detection and response are still needed. This hybrid thesis describes what is known about HAI outbreaks in the introduction, reviews the HAI outbreaks reported to New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), in the first paper, and then in the second paper examines how established methods for detecting infectious disease outbreaks perform in identifying Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) outbreaks in long-term care facilities (LTCF) in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and finally, it closes with our overall conclusions at this time from this work. Our main findings are that gastrointestinal illness, most commonly norovirus, in LTCFs is most likely to be reported and that in LTCFs the least complex threshold method performs with the highest sensitivity and specificity in detecting possible CDI outbreaks.


Healthcare-Associated Infections, Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Disease Detection, Clostridium Difficile Infections

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

James Cheek

Second Committee Member

Deirdre A. Hill

Third Committee Member

L. Olivia Hopkins

Fourth Committee Member

Erin Crotty Phipps

Fifth Committee Member

Fares Qeadan


Application for an embargo on this thesis has been submitted. Please do not publish until that is lifted (17 April 2019 at the earliest). Thank you.