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Outbreak Response Team

Team Lead: Matthew Wise, MPH, PhD

Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch - Outbreak Response Team meeting

CDC’s Outbreak Response Team (ORT) works to ensure rapid, coordinated detection and response to multistate foodborne outbreaks of enteric diseases and to promote comprehensive outbreak surveillance and investigation. It also seeks to improve the collaboration and partnership among officials in local, state, and federal agencies who detect and respond to foodborne enteric disease outbreaks.

In 2016, CDC monitored between 21 and 57 potential food poisoning or related clusters each week, and investigated more than 200 multistate clusters. These investigations led to the identification of confirmed or suspected vehicles of transmission and the recalls of a variety of foods including packaged salads, meal replacement products, frozen vegetables, and flour.

The Outbreak Response Team:

  • Coordinates multistate foodborne outbreak investigations caused by Salmonella and E. coli, working closely with state and local health officials to determine the source of infections.
  • Collaborates with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service to have contaminated foods removed from commerce.
  • Maintains the System for Enteric Disease Response, Investigation, and Coordination (SEDRIC), a data sharing platform that allows local, state, and federal investigation partners to access epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback data under a single, secure platform during multistate outbreaks.
  • Provides technical advice and support to state and local health departments and other CDC programs investigating foodborne outbreaks.
  • Provides scientific direction on activities related to complex, multi-jurisdictional outbreak investigations.
  • Develops tools to facilitate foodborne outbreak investigations.