Ready to respond: ECDC fellowship programme fellows supporting Europe’s response to the novel Coronavirus

News story

At this stage, 16 fellows from two current cohorts are involved in the work to prepare and respond to the ongoing health threat from the novel Coronavirus detected in China.

As fully-fledged professionals in applied epidemiology (EPIET) and public health microbiology (EUPHEM), the fellows of the ECDC Fellowship Programme work all across the European Union and European Economic Area in public health institutes and laboratories. At this stage, 16 fellows from two current cohorts are involved in the work to prepare and respond to the ongoing health threat from the novel Coronavirus detected in China.

The EPIET and EUPHEM fellows set up surveillance systems for this novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, conduct epidemic intelligence and scientific literature searches, and produce situation reports. They contribute to risk assessments that inform their Emergency Operation Centres and public health policy makers. Others conduct training sessions on coronavirus preparedness for healthcare professionals, and provide guidance on testing for coronavirus, diagnosis, travel and other queries through helplines. And with that gain valuable insights into the work of outbreak investigations.

As fellows work in collaboration across disciplines, they also support risk communication e.g. via social media and development of communication campaigns to inform the public about the virus.

In public health laboratories they are involved in the development, validation and implementation of molecular diagnostic tests for 2019-nCoV, they write standard procedure and forms for collecting and sending suspected 2019-nCoV samples, contribute to collaborations among different labs to strengthening the diagnostic capacity, and to preparedness activities in national reference labs.

 

TEPHINET

The ECDC Fellowship Programme belongs to the TEPHINET network of field epidemiology training programmes.Updates on their involvement in this public health emergency are available at  https://www.tephinet.org/fetp-activities-in-response-to-2019-ncov-the-novel-coronavirus