Always Drink Upstream of the Herd: Moving the Dial on Waterborne Disease Prevention with Limited Resources
Sunday, June 22, 2014: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
207 (Nashville Convention Center)

Waterborne disease in the U.S. has become more complex as the uses for water have expanded with U.S. development and industrialization; waterborne disease is now also heavily associated with recreational, drinking, industrial, healthcare, agricultural, and medical uses. Capacity for detection, investigation, and reporting of waterborne disease is critical for future prevention initiatives, and will require increased epidemiologic, laboratory, environmental health, and health promotion capacity within local, state, and territorial health agencies. Although resources to build capacity through large-scale or intensive initiatives are limited, much can still be accomplished through collaborative and sustained effort.

This one-day session will center around the potential to build increased public health capacity related to waterborne disease prevention, including presentations and discussion of practical topics. It will demonstrate the potential of smaller funding opportunities and projects to accomplish larger goals, and include examples of how partnerships within and across organizations can be developed to support waterborne disease prevention. Presentations will provide training on existing and forthcoming CDC resources that can be used to build waterborne disease epidemiologic, laboratory, and environmental health capacity. This session will also include presentations by CSTE Applied Epidemiology fellows, whose assignments include the detection, investigation, reporting, and prevention of waterborne disease outbreaks and harmful algal bloom events associated with inland and Great Lakes usage.


  • Discuss resource challenges and opportunities related to building the capacity to detect, investigate, and report waterborne diseases and outbreaks

  • Educate attendees about epidemiologic, laboratory, environmental health, policy, and communications resources available from CDC to support waterborne disease prevention efforts

  • Highlight the long-term value and impact of small projects and collaborative partnerships to reach long-term goals

  • Discuss targeted waterborne disease-related capacity initiatives, including harmful algal bloom surveillance and work in the Great Lake states through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the CSTE Fellowship program.

  • Provide examples of how and why to conduct state-based review for previously unreported outbreaks

  • Identify guidance documents and other tools needed more broadly by state and local waterborne disease prevention programs

9:00 AM
Welcome: Introductions and preconference objectives

9:20 AM
Waterborne disease outbreak surveillance: Framing the issues

10:00 AM
Morning Break

10:20 AM
Emerging environmental issues

11:30 AM
Waterborne disease investigation guidance and tools

12:00 PM
Lunch on your own

1:15 PM
Testing the Waters: Clinical Specimen, Environmental Sampling, and Molecular Typing

2:00 PM
Health communications

2:30 PM
Impacting public health through policy and prevention, and intervention tools

3:10 PM
Afternoon Break

3:30 PM
Building capacity for waterborne disease prevention, investigation, and response

4:15 PM
Moving the dial forward on waterborne disease prevention

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