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Influenza Data Management and Epidemiological Analysis course

Posted By Sara Ramey, Thursday, April 24, 2014
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A team of four CSTE members and staff traveled to Athens, Greece to facilitate and lecture at the CSTE-CDC Influenza Data Management and Epidemiological Analysis Course. Rachelle Boulton from the Utah Department of Health, Janet Hamilton from the Florida Department of Health, Dennis Perrotta, former State Epidemiologist from Texas, and Jennifer Lemmings from CSTE, joined staff from CDC and the World Health Organization European Office in a data management training course for influenza surveillance data managers/epidemiologists in the European Region. Influenza surveillance staff from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Ukraine participated in this 5 day course. Lectures were provided in English and translated to Russian for participants as needed.

The course was designed to help surveillance data managers establish, maintain, and improve influenza surveillance systems by teaching Influenza data managers and staff roles and responsibilities, minimum data requirements for influenza surveillance, quality assurance, quality control (standardized data entry, methods for checking accuracy and consistency of data), basic data analysis, data interpretation, and reporting. Some of the lectures focused on very specific details of data management methods, such as setting up tables in Microsoft Excel, while others encouraged discussion of general concepts such as deciding on which type of baseline to choose for their data.
There was a wide range of capabilities among the participants with some having advanced knowledge and experience and others a more basic understanding of influenza surveillance data management concepts and tools. Participants especially enjoyed the hands-on work using their most recent 12 months of seasonal influenza surveillance data. These data were usually counts of influenza-like illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI). CSTE members and staff each provided several lectures and individual attention to participants as they worked case studies and group activities in data management and epidemiological analysis. On the last day of training, each country provided a short presentation using their influenza data and the methods learned during the training in a mock effort to convince their Minister of Health that influenza surveillance was of vital importance and should be continued.
Dennis Perrotta
CSTE Consultant

Tags:  infectious disease  influenza  meeting summary  member spotlight 

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