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There are many things to consider when conducting an outbreak investigation. But first, why might the health department need volunteers? There are often more outbreaks to respond to than available health department staff to investigate. Large outbreaks need many interviews conducted quickly. Finding all possible causes is a huge task. Graduate public health students have basic knowledge of diseases and the ability to communicate intelligently about them and related public health issues. Interview assistance from skilled volunteers frees up health department staff to focus on data analysis, interpretation of findings and plan interventions. This adds capacity to the department’s ability to protect the population’s health.
- Explain the basic principles of disease investigation
- Explain the purpose of the new case interview
- Feel comfortable performing basic interview techniques
- Explain how this data collection method assists in reducing the impact of disease outbreaks on the general population