program should be expanded to put greater emphasis on the development of improved laboratory tests for detecting emerging pathogens in food.
The CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) provides health professionals with training and field experience in public health epidemiology. The two-year program graduated 70 EIS officers in 1991. EIS officers are assigned to CDC headquarters, one of CDC's seven domestic field stations, state and local health departments, or, on occasion, to other federal agencies such as the FDA or the NIH. Under the tutelage of an experienced epidemiologist, EIS officers carry out epidemiologic research and investigations. Over four decades, officers have participated in investigations of such problems as the Hong Kong influenza epidemics, Legionnaire's disease and toxic shock syndrome outbreaks, and the current HIV/AIDS pandemic (Thacker et al., 1990).
The EIS program is and will continue to be an important source of experienced public health epidemiologists. It is also the model for another evolving program, the joint CDC/WHO Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). Begun in 1980, FETP's first efforts were in Thailand. Other FETPs have followed in Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. The programs are funded by the host country and international organizations, such as the WHO. FETPs provide their host countries with field-oriented epidemiologists who can actively participate in the development and implementation of needed disease prevention and control programs (Music and Schultz, 1990).
The committee considers the EIS and FETP two of the nation's primary resources for the training of epidemiologists. Current and former EIS officers and FETP graduates are important sources of information on emerging diseases. Moreover, because these individuals form an informal global network, their participation in the implementation of a global surveillance system for infectious diseases could be particularly valuable. Currently, however, their distribution is geographically restricted because of the limited number of graduates each year.
The committee recommends the domestic and global expansion of the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service program and continued support for CDC's role in the Field Epidemiology Training Program.
The seven overseas medical research laboratories maintained by the DoD are the most broadly based international infectious disease research