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The SARS epidemic, the threat of bioterrorism, and recent examples of imported highly infectious diseases (HID) in Europe have all highlighted the importance of competent clinical and public health management of infectious disease emergencies. Although the European Union of Medical Specialists in Europe and the Infectious Diseases Society of America have developed curricula for training in infectious disease medicine, neither of those mentions training in the management of HIDs. The European Network for Infectious Diseases (EUNID, http://www.eunid.com) is a European Commission co-funded network of experts in HID management, created to help improve the preparedness for HID emergencies within Europe. One of EUNID's agreed tasks is the development of a curriculum for such a training. Between April 2005 and September 2006, EUNID developed a curriculum and accompanying training course on the basis of a questionnaire that was sent to all country representatives and discussion, followed by amendment of drafts shared through the project website, and a final consensus meeting. The resulting curriculum consists of a two-module course covering the core knowledge and skills that healthcare workers need to safely treat a patient who has, or who may have, an HID. The first module introduces theoretical aspects of HID management, including disease-specific knowledge, infection control, and the public health response, through didactic teaching and class-based discussion. The second module involves a 'skill station' and a clinical scenario, and equips trainees with relevant practical skills, including the use of specialised equipment and teamwork practice in patient management. Together, the curriculum and course contribute to the creation of a common framework for training healthcare professionals in Europe, and although they are designed primarily for clinicians that are directly involved in patient care, they are relevant also to public health professionals and others who may be involved in HID management and emergency response. .


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