Cover: Learning from Experience

Learning from Experience

The Public Health Response to West Nile Virus, SARS, Monkeypox, and Hepatitis A Outbreaks in the United States

Published Aug 31, 2005

by Michael A. Stoto, David J. Dausey, Lois M. Davis, Kristin J. Leuschner, Nicole Lurie, Sarah Myers, Stuart S. Olmsted, Karen A. Ricci, M. Susan Ridgely, Elizabeth M. Sloss, et al.

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To help describe and enhance key aspects of state and local public health emergency preparedness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked RAND to study the response of state and local health departments to outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), monkeypox, West Nile virus, and hepatitis A that took place from 1999 to 2003. Public health agencies demonstrated a robust ability to implement the major components of response to a public health emergency. However, unlike some other emergency responders, they do not have command and control authority over many important resources that are needed for an optimal public health response. Researchers found that the most pervasive problem was the need for strong communication and coordination between public health and other governmental agencies involved in emergency response.

The research described in the report was prepared for the Department of Health and Human Services by RAND Health, a unit of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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