29 Jan Outbreak disease
Answer this 5 questions using the provided case study.
1) In this case study, the health department decided to follow up on the original complaint by the student and start an investigation to determine whether there was an outbreak. Under what circumstances might the health department decide not to follow-up on the complaint? Describe at least three features of a complaint that would be less likely to indicate an outbreak (hint: think about consistency and availability of information).
2) Suppose that the initial complaint about a possible outbreak did not come from a university student, but from a middle-aged woman who lived in a single-family home with her spouse and children in a suburb of Chicago. How would your initial interview questions differ from those asked of the student? Identify at least three additional or different types of information you might try to obtain.
3) Consider a scenario where the outbreak was water-borne rather than food-borne and was a result of exposure to contaminated swimming pool water at the university. The results of the investigation have spread by word-of-mouth among pool users and there is concern about pool safety. As the epidemiologist, you have been asked to talk to this group. Briefly discuss the information would you share with this group and identify at least three actions swimmers could take to ensure safe pool water.
4) In this case study, possible contamination led to the temporary closing of the university cafeteria deli bar, even before the source of the outbreak had been confirmed. Now consider a scenario where the possible contamination came from a local food producer in rural Panama. This producer also supplies the local caf (the only commercial source of meals in the area) and employs about half of the local population. Would a temporary closure of the producers facilities be warranted? Why or why not? Discuss at least three potential challenges associated with the closing. In addition, analyze what the impacts would be on the ongoing investigation if the facility was not closed.
5) There are many more ways of sharing information quickly now than there used to be. Analyze the role of social media as both a communication and a data collection tool during an outbreak investigation. In this case study, how might the epidemiologists use social media to their advantage when collecting data? Conversely, what are the limitations? Include at least two advantages and two limitations in your answer.