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Summarize any one chapter of the handbook on epidemiological investigation and provide one example of a US or international public health emergency in which this science was used or likely used.??

Answer one

The first chapter on public health talks about how epidemiological investigations can be used to protect the public from diseases. The chapter focuses on the detection of unusual events, diagnosis, and the identification of the cases, the determination of the sources of exposure and the implementation of interventions to prevent the spread of the disease to the public.

Epidemiological investigations are majorly conducted to stop the spread of disease and to protect the public and to do this, and there are different methods through which the investigations can be performed, and the information is usually collected from surveillance systems, survey, and the collected data. The first element in epidemiological studies as far as public health is concerned with the detection of unusual events and this is usually done with the discovery of a high number of people with the same symptoms (FBI, 2016). Typically, this identification is termed as an outbreak of diseases, and after the identification, the cases are reported for further investigation. The second stage is confirming the diagnosis which involves medical practitioners who perform medical examinations on the affected people.

Once an analysis has been done, the next step to be followed is the identification and characterization of the cases. In this stage, the different cases identified, including the index case, which is the first case identified, are identified and characterized differently to allow practical examinations and facilitate accurate results (FBI, 2016). Thereafter, the next process is the determination of the source of exposure. This basically involves the identification of the source of the illness. This is basically the most critical step in trying to prevent the spread of the disease to other people because after the cause of the illness has been identified, interventions can be placed, an example being a quarantine, to ensure that the disease does not spread while the affected are getting treatment.


Federal Bureau of Investigations, (2016). Joint Criminal and Epidemiological Investigations Handbook 2016 International Edition. Retrieved from: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/joint-criminal-and-epidemiological-investigations-handbook-2016-international-edition/view

Answer 2

Public health is the catalyst for a lot of decision making in emergency management. One of the key aspects of public health is surveillance, which is data collection and analyzing that data. This is so vital to discovering any anomalies within the community. From there laboratory analysis are used to confirm or deny any suspicions of an outbreak. Once reports begin to pop up a spot or patient mapping is used to see how far the potential pathogen has spread. This helps investigators and emergency personnel try to get ahead of the illness. Having data collection allows for researchers to confirm it is a true outbreak prior to public announcement. This is crucial to not cause panic among the community. This happened during the Ebola outbreak, rumors began to circulate about what the mysterious illness was. This caused an exodus from the villages to neighboring cities and countries, further spreading the disease. Therefore, laboratory confirmation and data collection are vital to send the correct information to the community.

With the suspected cases researchers then plot the cases using an epidemic curve which has the months and numbers of people affected on it. It shows the trends of the illness and offers insight into how long it takes for the disease to actually manifest. Once a culprit has been identified the researchers and emergency management begin to implement efforts to control the outbreak and protect the public. This was the case during the emergence of Zika virus, the public health sector issued many warnings and advisors for countries that were most at risk. This included offering education or prevention and protection from catching the virus. This is one of the goals of public health once the cause has been identified then determine how it is transmitted, and then begin to discuss protection for the population that’s at risk. Surveillance is one of the best tools that can be used not only does it apply to public health but for other emergency situations as well. It is a key resource that should be utilized more frequently.

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