The Role of Applied Epidemiology Methods in the Disaster Management Cycle

Disaster epidemiology (i.e., applied epidemiology in disaster settings) presents a source of reliable and actionable information for decision-makers and stakeholders in the disaster management cycle. However, epidemiological methods have yet to be routinely integrated into disaster response and fully communicated to response leaders.

Increase in Adverse Health Effects Related to Synthetic Cannabinoid Use

Synthetic cannabinoids include various psychoactive chemicals that are sprayed onto plant material, which is then smoked or ingested to achieve a “high.” These products are sold under a variety of names (e.g., synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, black mamba, and crazy clown) and are sold in retail outlets as herbal products and are often labeled not for human consumption. Law enforcement agencies regulate many of these substances; however, manufacturers may frequently change the formulation and mask their intended purpose to avoid detection and regulation.

Developing a Guidance Document to Improve Public Health Surveillance during Disasters

During all phases of the disaster management cycle, PH surveillance plays a valuable role. Surveillance provides PH officials and stakeholders the information they need to respond to disasters and take action in an appropriate and timely manner. Despite the fact that surveillance provides a valuable function in disasters, a study by the Disaster Epidemiology Subcommittee of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) found that there are still significant differences, across states, in their use of disaster surveillance.

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This Knowledge Repository is made possible through the activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement/Grant #1 NU500E000098-01, National Surveillance Program Community of Practice (NSSP-CoP): Strengthening Health Surveillance Capabilities Nationwide, which is in the interest of public health.