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Table 2 Public Health Epidemiologists' Role in the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Response

From: Linking public health agencies and hospitals for improved emergency preparedness: North Carolina's public health epidemiologist program

Responsibility Activities
Surveillance, detection, and monitoring of H1N1 • Heightened surveillance of influenza-like illnesses
• Kept a running list of possible and confirmed H1N1 cases
• Monitored possible and confirmed H1N1 cases for outcomes
• Received test results from state lab and informed physicians of results
Assisting LHDs • Reported cases
• Provided daily/weekly reports on the status of H1N1
• Assisted LHDs with obtaining contact information when LHDs were heavily engaged in contact tracing
• Worked closely with LHDs to facilitate transportation of samples to the state public health lab
Educating clinicians on H1N1 • Educated physicians and other hospital staff on symptoms of H1N1, how to isolate patients with possible H1N1, the type of respiratory protection to use, and how to collect swabs from possible cases
• Educated hospital staff on importance of receiving the H1N1 vaccine
• Provided hospital staff with daily/weekly H1N1 status reports
• Served on H1N1 task forces and committees
• Provided data and information needed to develop hospital policies and educated staff on these policies
Enhancing communication among hospitals and public health • Participated in NCDPH-led conference calls on H1N1
• Provided NCDPH with daily/weekly H1N1 status reports
Special studies • Participated in CDC, NCDPH, and/or hospital-initiated studies on H1N1 deaths, H1N1 and pregnant or postpartum women, and H1N1 with seizure complications
  1. Abbreviations: LHD(s) local health department(s); NCDPH North Carolina Division of Public Health; CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.