European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Tel. + 46 8 58 60 17 20
Description of the institute
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was established in 2005. It is an EU agency designed to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases, and is seated in Stockholm, Sweden. According to the Article 3 of the founding Regulation, ECDC's mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases.
There are four units in ECDC in which all the work and projects of the organisation are divided: 1. Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS); 2. Surveillance and Response Support (SRS); 3. Public Health Capacity and Communication (PHC); and 4. Resource Management and Coordination (RMC). In addition, seven disease programmes are operational throughout the centre: Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-associated Infections, Emerging and Vector-borne Diseases, Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses, STI including HIV and Blood-borne Viruses, Influenza, Tuberculosis and Vaccine-preventable Diseases.
The ECDC training site for EPIET is based inside the Surveillance and Response Support unit (SRS), from where the supervision of the EPIET fellow is ensured. However, the fellow will also be working in projects that are based in other units within the centre. SRS aims at ensuring timely detection of communicable disease risks, their assessment and providing support for enabling Member States to mitigate them.
The unit is made up of approximately 80 full time staff, including public health experts who work on projects ranging from evidence based medicine, risk assessment, epidemiological methods, indicator and event based surveillance, early detection of outbreaks, coordination of outbreak investigations, and bioterrorism.
The trainee will be expected to complete all the objectives set out by the EPIET programme: participation in international or EU level outbreak investigation, analysis of surveillance data, evaluation of a surveillance system, and to conduct a planned study; writing scientific reports and articles and contributing to training throughout ECDC networks of others activities of public health staff in the EU and at ECDC are also expected.
The training site offers many opportunities in the field of epidemiology applied to infectious diseases control and prevention at the EU level and maybe even internationally. Activities cover a range of technical aspects which involve applied field epidemiology. some examples of activities in the past years include the following:
- Outbreak detection and epidemic intelligence
- Further refining of of web-based tools (MediSys, GPHIN, etc.) for the automatic detection and alerting of potential public health threats at the EU level;
- Participation in outbreak validation through formal systems such as EWRS and IHR, but also through the established European network of public health institutes.
- Coordination and Investigation of outbreaks
- Coordination of the investigation into a potential multi-country outbreak of Salmonella Gold coast in 2009
- Coordination of investigation into norovirus outbreaks caused by contaminated oysters in several EU countries (Westrell T, Dusch V, Ethelberg S, Harris J, Hjertqvist M, Jourdan-da Silva N, Koller A, Lenglet A, Lisby M, Vold L. Norovirus outbreaks linked to oyster consumption in the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Sweden and Denmark, 2010.) Euro Surveill. 2010;15(12):pii=19524.)
- Designing and/or evaluating and indicator or event based surveillance system
- Participation in routine surveillance activities for European disease-specific surveillance networks (e.g. EISN, FWD network, ELDSnet, STI network etc.);
- The evaluation of disease-specific European indicator-based surveillance systems (including influenza, food and waterborne diseases, sexually transmitted infections, travel-associated legionnaire’s disease etc.); The evaluation the Epidemic Intelligence Information System (EPIS), a web-based event-based surveillance system for food and waterborne diseases and zoonoses outbreaks the EU level;
- Supporting mass gathering surveillance activities during the football European Cup in Austria in 2008 [Kreidl P. et al., 2008 European Football Championship - ECDC epidemic intelligence support, Eurosurveillance, Volume 13, Issue 32]
- Applied research
- Developing a protocol to identify risk factors for variant Creutzfeld Jakab disease;
- Developing risk models for the importation of dengue and chikungunya in continental Europe [Seyler, T. et al., Assessing the risk of importing dengue and chikungunya viruses to the European Union, Epidemics, Volume 1(3), September 2009, 175-184];
- Participating in the development of a protocol and implementation of a seroprevalence study for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in northern Greece following a large-scale outbreak in the summer of 2010 [ongoing]
- International missions (note: this is not exclusively for EPIET fellows based at ECDC)
- Responding to measles and mumps outbreaks in Serbia (http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=3155) and FYROM;
- The monitoring the implementation of polio vaccination campaigns in central Asia and Africa following reported polio outbreaks;
- Strengthening early warning and response for the national cholera outbreak in Haiti.
General supervision will be determined. Project-specific supervision will be provided by epidemiologists from throughout the Centre (many of whom are EPIET alumni).
English, but knowledge of other European languages is very useful for day to day activities.
Number of EPIET fellows trained at the institute: two (2005, Cohort 2011) as well as more than 30 short term missions at ECDC or coordinated by ECDC from 2005 to 2014.
Number of EPIET alumni working at the institute: more than 15.