September 2021: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 84, Number 2)
Editor's Note: The National Environmental Health Association strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Environmental Assessments: An Important Part of Outbreak Investigations
Beth Wittry, MPH, REHS, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Jasen Kunz, MPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Elaine Curtiss, MEd, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Environmental assessments help ensure outbreaks are fully understood and addressed to protect health. Key information about the outbreak—how and why it happened and what interventions should be implemented—is not always obvious and can be challenging to determine. Conducting environmental assessments during an outbreak investigation helps determine control measures to prevent future outbreaks.
This month's column explores the importance of environmental assessments, including:
- the role of collaboration,
- how environmental assessments help investigators learn how and why outbreaks occurs,
- the importance of data collection to help inform prevention measures,
- how environmental assessments differ from inspections,
- tools available to help conduct environmental assessments, and
- how environmental assessment data can improve public health outcomes.