An Overview of Outbreak Investigations (FOCUS, Volume 1.1)
Length: 40 minutes
This focus issue provides a general overview of the basic steps of disease outbreak investigations.
These trainings are applicable to all public health, medical, veterinary, pharmacy, emergency management, hospital and other professionals interested in public health preparedness and field epidemiology. The periodicals and supplemental material are created by doctoral students and graduates of the UNC-CH Department of Epidemiology and reviewed by UNC-CH School of Public Health faculty and topic experts.
- Explain factors that may contribute to a decision to investigate
- Describe the basic steps of disease outbreak investigations
Competencies and Capability Functions Addressed
This training addresses selected applied epidemiology, core public health, and public health preparedness and response competencies and public health preparedness capability functions as noted below. (Please note: The following training does not provide comprehensive or in-depth treatment of specified competencies or capability functions, it provides basic knowledge of the competencies or capability functions listed below.)
|Applied Epidemiology Competencies Tier 1|
|Conduct investigation as directed (I.C.6)|
|Applied Epidemiology Competencies Tier 2|
|Use investigation techniques consistent with the public health problem (I.C.6)|
|Public Health Preparedness Capabilities|
|Capability 13, Function 2: Conduct public health and epidemiological investigations|
|Public Health Preparedness & Response Core Competencies|
|1.1. Solve problems under emergency conditions.|
|2.5. Manage the recording and/or transcription of data according to protocol.|
Hennessy TW, Hedberg CW, Slutsker L, et al. A national outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis infections from ice cream. The InvestigationTeam. N Engl J Med 1996; 334:1281-6.
Bell BP, Goldoft M, Griffin PM, et al. A multistate outbreak of Es-cherichia coli O157:H7-associated bloody diarrhea and hemolytic ure-mic syndrome from hamburgers. The Washington experience. J Am Med Assoc 1994; 272:1349-53.
Cody SH, Glynn MK, Farrar JA, et al. An outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection from unpasteurized commercial apple juice. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130:202-9.
Breuer T, Benkel DH, Shapiro RL, et al. A multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to alfalfa sprouts grown from contaminated seeds. Emerg Infect Dis 2001; 7:977-82.
Osterholm MT, MacDonald KL, White KE, et al. An outbreak of a newly recognized chronic diarrhea syndrome associated with raw milk consumption. J Am Med Assoc 1986; 256:484-90.
Perkins BA, Popovic T, Yeskey K. Public health in the time of bioterrorism. Emerg Infect Dis 2002; 8:1015-8. Roberts JA, Upton PA, Azene G. Escherichia coli O157:H7; an economic assessment of an outbreak. J Public Health Med 2000; 22:99-107.
Jones TF, Craig AS, Hoy D, et al. Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school. N Engl J Med 2000; 342:96-100.
Reingold AL. Outbreak investigations--a perspective. Emerg Infect Dis 1998; 4:21-7.
Outbreaks of pseudo-infection with Cyclospora and Cryptosporidium-- Florida and New York City, 1995. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1997; 46:354-8.
Garrett L. Understanding media's response to epidemics. Public Health Rep 2001; 116 Suppl 2:87-91.
Authors and Reviewers:
The author(s) and reviewer(s) of this training have no personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this presentation to disclose.
Continuing Education Credit:
The UNC Center for Public Health Preparedness offers the following continuing education credit/s on this training. Eligibility for all continuing education credit is determined on an annual basis.
To complete this training:
- Read over all the training information on this page, including the Educational Objectives and References.
- Login to access the training. Please note that new users will first have to register to create a Training Web Site ID and Password. See To Access This Training instructions below.
- Complete the training pre-test.
- Complete the training activity as instructed.
- Complete the training post-test.
- Complete the training evaluation form.
- Save and/or print your certificate of completion for this training.
If you cannot complete the training in a single setting, you will be able to return to this training and resume where you left off. Please note that partially completed pre-tests, post-tests, and evaluations will need to be resumed from the beginning.
To Access This Training:
First-Time Training Web Site Users:
Already Registered Users: