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The CDC Field Epidemiology Manual$
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Sonja A. Rasmussen and Richard A. Goodman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190933692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190933692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 December 2019

Conducting a Field Investigation

Conducting a Field Investigation

Chapter:
(p.33) 3 Conducting a Field Investigation
Source:
The CDC Field Epidemiology Manual
Author(s):

Michael E. King

Diana M. Bensyl

Richard A. Goodman

Sonja A. Rasmussen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190933692.003.0003

Performing field investigations is a core function of epidemiology in public health. When a threat to the public’s health occurs, epidemiologists investigate to describe the problem and identify causes, recommend immediate prevention and control measures, and provide a foundation for communicating information quickly to those who need to know to save lives and protect people from future illness. Although diseases and evaluative technologies evolve continually, the approach to conducting an epidemiologic field investigation remains relatively constant. Investigating an outbreak requires both a speedy and accurate response, necessitating a systematic approach that results in action. This chapter describes the basic 10-step approach for conducting an epidemiologic field investigation. Although the steps in this chapter are presented in a numeric and conceptual order, the order sometimes changes in practice. Ultimately, the goal of any epidemiologic field investigation is to use the science of epidemiology to rapidly ensure public health and safety.

Keywords:   epidemiology, core function, acute outbreak, public health response, epidemic curve, descriptive epidemiology, prevention and control

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