A deployed IPC specialist in a large scale outbreak; the expectations

Dale Fisher1,2

Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, Singapore

2 Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore


An IPC practitioner has a specialist body of knowledge but in a large scale outbreak will be expected to utilise IPC principles differently pulling on skills not usually required in order to be successful. Operating out of one’s usual environment with strangers of varying levels of skill, organisation and reliability is challenging and often needs to be met with patience and compromise. Appreciating how one is seen by national staff, gaining trust and identifying and working through other key individuals are crucial if one is to have impact in a large scale outbreak.

Practicing IPC in a large scale outbreak setting is complex. Although the components of an outbreak response are no different to those of an outbreak in a single site, failings in coordination and standardised messaging have much greater ramifications where (increased) confusion and chaos are always just one step away.

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