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Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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In compliance with the requirement of section 3506 (c) (2) (A) of the Paperwork reduction Act of 1995, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is providing opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer on (404) 498-1210.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques for other forms of information technology. Send comments to Seleda M. Perryman, CDC Assistant Reports Clearance Officer, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D24, Atlanta, GA 30333. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project: Emergency Epidemic Investigations (0920-0010)—Extension—(Epidemiology Program Office, EPO)—One of the objectives of CDC's epidemic services is to provide for the prevention and control of epidemics and protect the population from public health crises such as man made or natural biological disasters and chemical emergencies. This is carried out, in part, by training investigators, maintaining laboratory capabilities for identifying potential problems, collecting and analyzing data, and recommending appropriate actions to protect the public's health. When state, local, or foreign health authorities request help in controlling an epidemic or solving other health problems, CDC dispatches skilled epidemiologists from the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) to investigate and resolve the problem. Resolving public health problems rapidly ensures costs effective health care and enhances health promotion and disease prevention. Annually, the EIS Program coordinates 400 Epidemic Assistance Investigations (Epi-Aids) and state-based field investigations. Epidemics are prevented and controlled by mobilizing and deploying CDC staff, primarily EIS officers to respond rapidly to disease outbreaks and disaster situations. At the request of public health officials—at the state, national, or international level-CDC provides assistance by participating in epidemiologic field investigations.

The purpose of the Emergency Epidemic Investigation surveillance is to collect data on the conditions surrounding and preceding the onset of a problem. The data must be collected in a timely fashion so that information can be used to develop prevention and control techniques, to interrupt disease transmission and to help identify the cause of an outbreak. Since the events necessitating the collections of information are of an emergency nature, most data collection is done by direct interview or written questionnaire and are one-time efforts related to a specific outbreak or circumstance. If during the emergency investigation, the need for further study is recognized, a project is designed and separate OMB clearance is required. Interviews are conducted to be as unobtrusive as possible and only the minimal information necessary is collected. The Emergency Epidemic Investigations is the principal source of data on outbreaks of infectious and noninfectious diseases, injuries, nutrition, environmental health and occupational problems.

Each investigation does contribute to the general knowledge about a particular type of problem or emergency, so that data collections are designed taking into account similar situations in the past. Some questionnaire have been standardized, such as investigations of outbreaks aboard aircraft or cruise vessels.

The Emergency Epidemic Investigations provides a range of data on the characteristics of outbreaks and those affected by them. Data collected include demographic characteristics, exposure to the causative agent(s), transmission patterns and severity of the outbreak on the affected population. These data, together with trend data, may be used to monitor the effects of change in the health care system, planning of health services, improving the availability of medical services and assessing the health status of the population.

Users of the Emergency Epidemic Investigations data include, but are not limited to EIS Officers in investigating the patterns of disease or injury, investigating the level of risky behaviors, identifying the causative agent and identifying the transmission of the condition and the impact of interventions.

It is difficult to predict the number of epidemic investigations which might occur in any given year. The previous three years' experience shows an annualized burden of 2,304 hours and respondent total of 10,150. Therefore, the request is for an estimated annual burden of 3,000 hours. This represents an estimated 12,000 respondents annually at 15/60 hours per response. There are no costs to respondents other than time.

RespondentsNumber of respondentsNumber of responses/respondentAvg. burden per response (in hrs.)Total burden (in hrs.)
Total Respondents12,000115/603,000
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Dated: March 24, 2003.

Thomas Bartenfeld,

Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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[FR Doc. 03-7591 Filed 3-28-03; 8:45 am]