Changes to Way Croatian Epidemiologists Contact Patients and Contacts

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of October, 2020, Sanja Kurecic Filipovic, an epidemiologist from Zagreb and head of the Department for Monitoring Infectious Diseases, spoke about the situation with the spread of the new coronavirus and why Croatian epidemiologists have and will need to continue to alter the way in which they contact newly confirmed patients and their contacts.

She said that in Zagreb they have been waiting for days not only for the test results but also for the testing itself to take place, which isn’t a sustainable way of doing things.

”We’re working constantly all day and during the night. The capacity stands at 500 samples. That’s an average,” the epidemiologist told RTL.

She said that as a result of the ongoing situation, Croatian epidemiologists were forced to change their current way of contacting patients.

“It’s very important to say that we as epidemiologists must change our strategy and the instructions we give people. An epidemiologist won’t be able to contact every sick person within 24 hours. We’re not going to be able to inform them in 24 hours, let alone talk to them in more detail about anything. We invite them to contact their chosen family doctors (general practitioners). People themselves became aware of the need to contact their contacts. As we’re late with contacting patients, we’re clearly also late with contacting their contacts,” she explained.

“Apart from the basic measures, we need to understand the seriousness of this situation and nurture personal responsibility and solidarity. We need to get out of our comfort zones and influence each other. Only together can we defeat this,” said epidemiologist Sanja Kurecic Filipovic when explaining the ongoing difficulties being faced by Croatian epidemiologists during this unprecedented crisis.

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