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Assessment of Contagious Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Control Measures

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Technical Report

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Institute for Defense Analyses Alexandria United States

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The Institute for Defense Analyses IDA investigated how the timing of disease surveillance and the subsequently triggered control measures contribute to limiting the operational disruption caused by a contagious disease outbreak in a deployed military population. A qualitative framework assessed how disease related factors influence the time available and the time it takes to detect and respond to an outbreak. A contagious disease model was used to assess the ability of various disease surveillance triggers and control measure implementation strategies to minimize operational disruption. Commanders may have the ability to detect and respond to an outbreak of a known disease in time to prevent direct operational disruption due to personnel loss. However, commanders will likely need to initiate high consequence decisions with potentially incomplete knowledge of the situation to minimize operational disruption from an outbreak of an unknown disease. Accordingly, the IDA team recommends 1 investing in technologies that facilitate rapid medical countermeasure development, 2 developing concepts of operations for and conducting a cost-benefit analysis on diagnostic capabilities at lower roles of medical care, 3 training and educating leadership on the value of bidirectional disease surveillance reporting, and 4 developing pre-deployment contingency plans for sustaining isolated units.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

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