Inherently speedy and usually inexpensive method(s) that can yield enough information about a health situation to facilitate immediate control measures, e.g., in the aftermath of a natural or manmade disaster, or when a major life-threatening epidemic has struck a community. The details of assessment methods vary according to the nature of the epidemic or relevant emergency. The emphasis is mainly on clinical findings. For example, in earthquakes and floods, the focus is on evidence of fecal-oral transmission. When there are large numbers of refugees, the emphasis is on diarrhea and acute respiratory disease, especially among infants and children. See also epidemic investigation.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.