The structure of the report follows the same structure as most scientific reports or articles. The report includes the following sections:
In the abstract, the key features of the outbreak should be presented:
The main lessons learned should be highlighted and the main recommendations listed. Ongoing actions to control the outbreak and prevent future outbreaks should be presented and, further actions planned specified. Nothing should be included in the abstract unless already stated in the report.
The introduction includes the information that will help us understanding the context and the environment. Items useful to be included are:
What was the initial story?
Why was an investigation undertaken?
(Stopping the outbreak, identify the source and contributing factors, prevent future outbreaks, describe extent and disease burden etc)
How was the outbreak managed?
The methods section provides the elements to understand what was done to investigate and control the outbreak. The methods used in each of the components of the investigation should be specified.
The results section includes the findings that lead to your conclusions. Results should be consistent with the methods and remain factual and neutral.
The results section should not include any explanation nor discussion that are best placed in the discussion section. See chapter Presenting Data for how to create clear tables and graphs.
Findings from clinical and environmental samples.
Site inspection reports
The discussion section should provide an interpretation of the results: what the facts presented mean in the context of the outbreak, taking into account the methodology used and the limits encountered.
The structure of the discussion would be:provide an interpretation of resul
To direct the reader from results to implications
From the experience of the investigated outbreak, some points should be highlighted to improve future investigations. A summary of problems encountered and suggestions for improvement could be useful for participating agencies and colleagues if they will use similar approaches, methods or tools in the future.
Recommendations should specify what should be done to:
The recommendations section should be short and concise, specific, targeted (who should do what?) and realistic (with the available resources what can be done, what is acceptable).
A short paragraph mentioning other persons contributing to the investigation, but not part of the outbreak control team.
With the references, authors can justify facts not directly related with the outbreak under investigation.
The format of the references should allow readers to find the original documents.
For EPIET, the reference system we recommend is Vancouver.
Annexes usually include tools used to collect data, inform partners and other detailed pieces of work done during the investigation that can help in understanding what has been done.
Some examples of documents that can be included in the annexes are: