Infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics, and subsequent pandemics are not typical disasters in the sense that they often lack clearly delineated phases. As in any event that is biological in nature, its onset may be gradual with signs and symptoms that are so subtle that they go unrecognized, thus missing opportunities to invoke an early response and implement containment strategies. An infectious disease outbreak-whether caused by a novel virus, a particularly virulent influenza strain, or newly emerging or resistant bacteria with the capability of human-to-human transmission--can quickly degrade a community's healthcare infrastructure in advance of coordinated mitigation, preparation, and response activities. The Transitional Medical Model (TMM) was developed to aid communities with these crucial phases of disaster response as well as to assist with the initial steps within the recovery phase. The TMM is a methodology that provides a crosswalk between the routine operations and activities of a community's public health infrastructure with action steps associated with the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases of an infectious disease outbreak.
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