CDC, Emory Universitycollaborate on emergency preparedness

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is teaming up with a group at Emory University in Atlanta to conduct emergency preparedness exercises, the CDC said on Tuesday.

Emory University's Student Outbreak and Response Team is a graduate student-led organization that collaborates with the Dekalb County Board of Health and the CDC in various outbreak investigations, trainings, preparedness exercises and emergency responses. The team includes 45 Masters of Public Health students from diverse backgrounds and different concentrations.

The team participated in a range of activities, including entering data for the multi-state fungal meningitis response, serving as volunteers for a nurse triage line exercise at the CDC, organizing emergency preparedness awareness activities at the Emory campus and providing assistance at flu clinics.

In September, SORT members helped the CDC Emergency Operations Center to facilitate an investigation into an outbreak associated with nutritional supplements contaminated with steroids in New York. In October, SORT participated in a tornado drill at the Emory Hospital. In November, SORT members combined efforts with other Emory student organizations to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.

According to the CDC, SORT is a unique student organization that regularly allows its members to interact with and learn from public health professionals. The connection with public health workers provides students with a strong knowledge background when they enter the workforce.