The doctoral analytic epidemiologist will work on the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) Team in close collaboration with the Analytics Team. The NORS team collects and analyzes reports of outbreaks transmitted by food and by animal contact. The epidemiologist will analyze data on outbreaks of bacterial enteric infections reported from throughout the United States, develop new analytic methods to address public health priorities, train MPH-level staff on new analytic methods, communicate with partners, participate in meetings within and outside CDC, and contribute to scientific reports. The epidemiologist will work closely with other teams in the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch (EDEB) and other branches in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.
The following are main duties of the position:
1. Improve understanding of outbreaks linked to complex foods (those that have many ingredients) in which the contaminated ingredient could not be determined (these comprise 50% of outbreaks) by developing methods to:
a. determine trends in the occurrence of outbreak-associated illnesses caused by major Salmonella serotypes in outbreaks linked to consumption of meats, particularly chicken and ground beef, each as a single ingredient and as part of a complex food;
b. assist with the incorporation of outbreaks linked to multiple-ingredient foods into annual estimates of food category sources for illness caused by the top four bacterial enteric foodborne pathogens (Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter).
2. Incorporate above methods into routine analyses to be conducted annually to track improvements and emerging trends; fellow will train NORS Team staff to use these methods to ensure sustainability after the fellowship ends.
3. Develop a plan for communicating to regulatory agencies, industry, consumer groups, and the public the estimated trends in the major Salmonella serotypes and sources responsible for outbreak-associated illnesses due to chicken and ground beef. Post key findings, plans, and recommendations on DFWED’s prevention website and review findings collectively with stakeholders to inform decision-making.
This work will give forward motion to the DFWED prevention priorities of decreasing the large burden of Salmonella illnesses due to chicken and beef. We will inform FSIS and industry and consumer groups in multiple ways so they can use the information in current major efforts to improve inspection and decrease contamination. This collaborative work will provide stakeholders with information needed to conduct work likely to result in major reductions in Salmonella illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. These new methods will enhance our understanding of Salmonella sources and identify emerging trends.