Review the media piece Vila Health

Elena Sonnek works in the Epidemiology and Surveillance unit of the state health department. A supervisor in this unit, Elena manages a team of five junior epidemiologists and is also responsible for several programs managed by the infectious Disease and Epidemiology unit. Let’s take a look at a typical day.

Elena arrives at her office and greets her staff and coworkers. She flips on her computer and reviews her day planner while the computer boots up. It’s going to be a busy day, but that’s not unusual and Elena has a plan for what she hopes to work on. Of course, any number of things could interfere with the plan, but it’s early and Elena is optimistic. Take a look at Elena’s to-do list:

  • Review monthly infectious disease
  • Work on Zika awareness and prevention policy recommendations
  • Staff meeting
  • Research/analysis on Naegleria fowleri in state

Elena decides to respond to email before starting in on her to-do list. A question from one of the county health departments about reporting requirements around rabies is fairly straightforward. She is able to explain the process and provide links to relevant policy documents. Another email, from a county commissioner with whom she has been working on several policy issues, is not as simple. He thinks the recommendations Elena made regarding mosquito surveillance are too costly. The data supports Elena’s recommendations, but she needs to explain her findings in a way that will be clear – something that is sometimes easier said than done.

Elena is reviewing data that she has gathered about Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba responsible for the death of two children a few years earlier. While Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in freshwater habitats, it can sometimes cause a rare but fatal infection in humans. The amoeba travels from the nose to the brain and causes a severe infection called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). While deaths related to Naegleria fowleri are very uncommon, the fact that so little is known about why infections do occur is troubling. Elena is reviewing data she has been gathering from various sources, in the hopes of finding some new piece of information that will help public health officials understand why some people contract PAM and how to better protect the public.

At the monthly staff meeting, Elena’s team share information about their current projects. Elena will need to follow up with some of her staff to ensure they have the resources and guidance they need to keep their projects and programs running smoothly.

Elena has been working on writing materials for the state health department to improve Zika awareness. While there have been no confirmed cases of Zika originating in the state, it is still important to provide clear information about risks of transmission for people who may be travelling to areas where Zika is active. Additionally, because Zika is a mosquito–borne disease and mosquitos are jokingly called the state bird, Elena knows that people may have misconceptions and concerns. Fortunately, a large part of her job is education and Elena knows she can provide useful information.

Elena reaches a good point to take a break from writing and turns her attention to reviewing data gathered about reportable infectious diseases. These are diseases that the state requires health care and other professionals to report. While many diseases are reported with a standardized “disease report card,” Elena still needs to review the data for duplicates, errors, missing data, and other issues that can cause errors during the Epidemiology and Surveillance unit of the state health d

 Selecting a Research Topic

For this assignment Review the media piece Vila Health above.  A Day in the Life of an Epidemiologist and consider what public health issues were reflected in the various activities Elena engaged in during her work day.

  • Make a list of three public health problems identified from your community needs assessment, and select one of these three issues as your final topic.
  • Support your choice with available statistics (incidence, prevalence, trends, et cetera) about the problem.
  • Discuss the future direction of public health efforts to control or prevent the spread of this problem.

Elena manages a team of five junior epidemiologists and is also responsible for several programs manage NO CONSIDERATION FOR PLAGIARISM



DUE 1/2122 AT 10AM

d by the infectious Disease and Epidemiology unit. Let’s take a look at a typical day.

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