Discussion: The outbreak management team

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The Field Epidemiology Manual provides a set of core training materials reflecting the essential competencies required by intervention epidemiologists.

Discussion: The outbreak management team

  • Thank you, Arnold, very helpful information.

  • The outbreak team is a group of people with appropriate skills and responsibilities joined by the aim of investigating and controlling the outbreak. It is usually multidisciplinary , including ( non-exhaustive list) epidemiologists, microbiologists, public health authorities, clinicians and healthcare managers, environmental and food inspectors, veterinarians, communications specialists.

    An OCT should act as as single body and behave as a effective team. There should be a lead to chair the meeting and ensure decisions are taken , documented and acted upon. The OCT has collective responsibility for the outbreak - if it goes wrong, responsibility is shared. The outputs, especially public health advice and external communications , should be consistent from each member and agency, although there may be disagreements during meetings.

    Other models can be useful. In at least one country, a team similar to an OCT meets every week to manage incidents and outbreaks, making more routine the often hasty convening of s meeting of senior professionals.