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Reporting an Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) Outbreak

Adult social care providers (providers) should contact UKHSA directly to report infectious disease outbreaks.

An outbreak, typically, consists of 2 or more positive or clinically suspected linked cases in the same setting, with symptom onset dates within a 5-day period. 

There are 2 ways to report outbreaks to UKHSA.



Care OBRA is a 24/7 online reporting tool that can be used by providers to report Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) only, including:

  • Single cases of Influenza.
  • Outbreaks of other ARI’s, for example COVID-19

OBRA should not be used to:

  • Report single cases of COVID-19.
  • Provide updates on known incidents or outbreaks.
  • Non-ARI outbreaks, for example Norovirus.

Following completion of the on-line reporting form, providers will receive a copy of their submission, an associated risk rating (which will inform whether further contact is made with the provider) and links to relevant information, advice and guidance. 

To complete the online reporting form, providers will require the following information:

  • Unique Organisation Number (UON) – this is the number previously used to order test kits – and/or your CQC Location ID.
  • Number of staff and people supported by the setting / service.
  • An overview of symptoms – including date of symptom onset, how many people are affected and a description of the symptoms.
  • Any test results.• COVID-19 and Flu vaccination status.
  • Any serious illness or concerns.

 How do I contact UKHSA?

If you need to report a non-ARI outbreak, wish to seek specialist support and/or you want to provide an update on an on-going situation, you can contact UKHSA by:


Telephone: for urgent support during standard office hours, contact 0344 225 3560 (Option 2)

Telephone: for urgent support outside of standard office hours, contact 01384 679031 (Health & Social Care Professionals)

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