Israel Has 10 Times Fewer Epidemiologists Than Other Western Countries

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Figures released Thursday by the Military Intelligence Directorate show that the number of epidemiological investigators in Israel is dramatically lower than any other country in the Western world.

The current ratio of epidemiological investigators in the U.S. range from one investigator per 1,400 residents in Michigan, to one investigator per 6,200 residents in New York. The ratios are comparable in Europe.

In Israel, the current ratio is one investigator per 300,000 residents and even after plans to reinforce the numbers of investigators are complete the ratio will be only one investigator per 30,000 Israelis.

The MID report views epidemiological tracing as a crucial means of “identifying the sources of outbreaks and severing the chain of infection.”

“The existing epidemiological investigation system in Israel is limited compared to ones around the world,” the Military Intelligence Directorate stated. “The small number of investigators makes it difficult to respond within the relevant time frame to investigations, if at all.”

The report concluded that the Health Ministry should better utilize technological means in its epidemiological investigations to strengthen its capabilities, specifically the use of a computerized investigation system through which carriers can report what locations they frequented before contracting the virus to help speed up the contact-tracing investigations.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)