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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Colorado: Collaboration with State Health Department Turns Students into First Responders

Students at the Colorado School of Public Health are training as foodborne disease first responders to be able to support the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in the event of a large outbreak.

Foodborne illness outbreaks in Colorado that require more manpower to address than CDPHE staff can provide occur two to three times a year.  CDPHE staff were struggling to train auxiliary help while also trying to investigate the outbreak itself. Instead, they began providing yearly training to ColoradoSPH students who can then be mobilized when needed.

The training introduces students to the scientific logic of running a foodborne disease outbreak investigation and train in investigational interviewing. Students have been called in to do phone interviews regarding outbreaks involving a large water park, a county fair and a raw milk dairy.

At any given time, 40 to 50 ColoradoSPH students are trained and available to assist the CDPHE.

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