Oklahoma’s top epidemiologist reassigned amid outbreak

The Associated Press - March 21, 2020 11:42 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s top epidemiologist is being reassigned in a move the state’s health agency says will help them better coordinate between local responders and health care experts, particularly in rural areas.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced on Thursday that state epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed is being reassigned “to provide epidemiological expertise to Oklahoma stakeholders.” The agency also announced the hiring of Dr. Aaron Wendelboe as an interim state epidemiologist. A spokeswoman says that Burnsed will help coordinate with local and county health officials.

The role of an epidemiologist is to analyze how and where disease outbreaks start and spread. Oklahoma has reported 53 confirmed coronavirus infections including one person who has died.

 

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