Communicable Disease Control in Emergencies
A Field Manual
This field manual is intended to help health professionals and public health coordinators working in emergency situations prevent, detect and control the major communicable diseases encountered by affected populations. The manual is the result of collaboration among a number of WHO departments and several external partner agencies in reviewing existing guidelines on communicable disease control and adapting them to emergency situations.
The manual deals with the fundamental principles of communicable disease control in emergencies, which are: Rapid assessment to identify the communicable disease threats faced by the emergency-affected population, including those with epidemic potential, and define the health status of the population by conducting a rapid assessment; Prevention to prevent communicable disease by maintaining a healthy physical environment and good general living conditions; Surveillance to set up or strengthen disease surveillance system with an early warning mechanism to ensure the early reporting of cases to monitor disease trends, and to facilitate prompt detection and response to outbreaks; outbreak control to ensure outbreaks are rapidly detected and controlled through adequate preparedness (i.e. stockpiles, standard treatment protocols and staff training) and rapid response (i.e.confirmation, investigation and implementation of control measures); and disease management to diagnose and treat cases promptly with trained staff using effective treatment and standard protocols at all health facilities.