How I became interested in this Topic?

Many of us were first “turned on” to public health by stories about “disease detectives” and outbreak investigations. Few things top the gut-wrenching challenge of being involved with a major outbreak; I often refer to this part of the field as “combat epidemiology”. A really big outbreak is more like the force five tornado in the movie Twister than what is often portrayed in most outbreak or epidemic movies. Phones ring constantly and there is little time for detailed reflection. In some instances, staff and family members may be ill and resources are diminished. While public health officers are seldom held responsible for these outbreaks, they are held accountable for the response. Like tornadoes, all outbreaks eventually end and calm returns regardless of any intervention or action. Effective public health officers can succeed in minimizing the damage and expediting the recovery. However, there are instances where they and their careers have been blown away by the storm.

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