may require disseminating information using public media outlets O t h e r
As a healthcare professional, one of your responsibilities is to inform patients about issues that may cause them harm. Public health issues, including chronic diseases and those that might cause an outbreak, may require disseminating information using public media outlets such as print, radio, or TV. People need to know the facts of the outbreak and who may be at risk, including steps they should take to remain healthy.
In this Competency Assessment, you will create a press release to inform the public about a recent epidemiological event that you will choose. You will conduct research on the disease, including recent data, clinical information, and the descriptive epidemiology of person, place, and time.
To prepare for this Competency Assessment:
- Research one recent outbreak of a reportable infectious disease that has occurred within the past 5 years within the United States.
- Review the article “Ebola Virus Disease in the Light of Epidemiological Triad.” Consider how your health condition applies to the epidemiologic triad (also known as the epidemiologic triangle).
- Review the resources on conducting an epidemiological investigation.
To complete this Competency Assessment:
- Write a professional press release, in a 3- to 4-page Word document, to be used in an area where an outbreak has occurred to inform the public about the disease, the relevant information for people to remain safe, and steps they should take if they feel they are at risk. Your press release should include the following:
- Defining Epidemiology
- Define epidemiology.
- Explain the components of epidemiology.
- Explain why epidemiology is important.
- Establishing the Existence of an Outbreak
- Compare incidence and prevalence rates from the past with current rates.
- Describe the components of the epidemiological triangle for this disease.
- Verifying the Diagnosis
- Explain the steps to confirm a diagnosis.
- What steps would you take to ensure the increase in cases is not due to a mistake in the laboratory?
- List 4–5 questions a health provider would want to ask in a patient interview to determine if the person is a possible case.
- Defining Cases
- Describe clinical characteristic of the disease.
- Describe the methods of surveillance and how the outbreak or increase in incidence was determined.
- Describe the characteristics of the people who are affected.
- Include information about the location or place an outbreak might occur (i.e., places with poor water quality, certain types of venues).
- Explain how you will determine if a case is confirmed, probable, or possible.
- Identifying and Counting Cases
- Explain how far you would cast your net and how you would determine the size and extent of the problem.
- Explain how you would use media to locate undiagnosed cases and determine the urgency of the message.
- Explain data collection methods for counting cases. (Consider the data sources that would provide the best information or the sources of information that might not be readily available on the Internet.)
- Listing Descriptive Epidemiologic Factors
- Describe the factors that are relevant for your disease within the category of “person.”
- Describe the factors that are relevant for your disease within the category of “place.”
- Describe the factors that are relevant for your disease within the category of “time.”
- Classifying the
- Determine if it is a common source, propagated outbreak, or progressive outbreak. Explain.
- Determine who is at risk for infection.
- Defining Epidemiology