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Notice

Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a list of information collection requests under review by the Office of Management and Start Printed Page 45824Budget (OMB) in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these requests, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer at (404) 498-1210. Send written comments to CDC, Desk Officer, Human Resources and Housing Branch, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

Emergency Epidemic Investigations (0920-0008)—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 questionnaires 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 3,000 hours and respondent total of 12,000. For this clearance, we are requesting 3,750 total burden hours. This is due to the increase in the number of investigations performed over the past two years.

RespondentsNumber of respondentsNumber of responses/respondentAvg. burden per response (in hrs.)
Total Respondents15,000115/60
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Dated: July 29, 2003.

Thomas A. Bartenfeld,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-19685 Filed 8-1-03; 8:45 am]

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