Preparing the I/OH: Why Highly Hazardous Communicable Disease Responses Need Us Webinar Recording

Event Type: Webinars, AIHA Webinars

Earn 1.5 Contact Hours

Member $140 | Nonmember $175 | Student $25

Gain a deeper understanding of highly hazardous communicable diseases (HHCDs) recognition, evaluation, and control with this webinar sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Training.

This webinar will provide background on the HHCDs that have elicited domestic response over the last five years (e.g. MERS-CoV, Nipah virus, Ebola, Lassa Fever) and industrial hygiene research in the area including but not limited to:

  • Current U.S. levels of preparedness to address HHCDs and domestic infrastructure
  • Considerations for selection of decontamination products and procedures at the Nebraska Biocontainment after the treatment of 3 evacuated Ebola-confirmed patients
  • Air and ground transport considerations to prevent occupational exposure
  • Category A waste handling
  • Laboratory considerations
  • Risk communication

The presenters will also discuss the invaluable role industrial or occupational hygienists can have in addressing HHCDs, and close with questions & answers.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  1. Define highly hazardous communicable diseases (HHCDs) and characterize the current relevance of HHCDs in the public health landscape.
  2. Discuss IH research in HHCDs.
  3. Recognize potential airborne highly hazardous communicable disease (HHCD) scenarios, how to evaluate those scenarios, and implement appropriate control measures.
  4. Analyze the role I/OH professionals can play in HHCD mitigation and management.


Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D., MBA CIH

Shawn Gibbs’ research areas are industrial hygiene and environmental exposure assessment, focusing on environmental microbiology. This includes source evaluation, source tracking, and methods to reduce occupational exposure. Dr. Gibbs served as the Director of Research for the Nebraska Patient Care Biocontainment (NBU) Unit from 2009-2015. In this role he coordinated research efforts across public health, medicine, and nursing on personal protective equipment, engineering controls, and decontamination techniques to protect healthcare workers who treated Ebola-confirmed patients. The methods we developed for donning and doffing, the level of personnel protective equipment, and procedures for handling highly infectious remains used were adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they updated their protocols. He is a Member of the USEPA Board of Scientific Counselors for Homeland Security. Dr. Gibbs now serves as the Executive Associate Dean at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Principal Investigator of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-funded Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative, and maintains a 10% appointment with the National Ebola Treatment and Education Center and consults with multiple organizations to enhance their preparedness for highly hazardous communicable diseases. Dr. Gibbs has over one hundred peer-reviewed articles in industrial hygiene and environmental exposure assessment, focusing on environmental microbiology and disrupting the transmission of highly infectious diseases.

Aurora Le, MPH, CPH
Aurora Le’s areas of research include highly infectious diseases, and occupational safety and health, with a focus on training and education. Ms. Le is the Project Coordinator and Educational Specialist of the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative, a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Training Program. Previously, she supported the research activities of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit after the treatment of three Ebola-confirmed patients at the unit in 2014-2015 and was part of the exercise design team for the National Ebola Training and Education Center. Her current research includes infectious disease mitigation and management in non-healthcare worker populations. Aurora is also currently pursuing her doctorate part-time at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington in Health Behavior, with a focus on occupational safety and health, and is an Adjunct Instructor for IU School of Public Health, teaching Introduction to Industrial Hygiene for undergraduate safety majors.

Dr. Gibbs and Ms. Le were part of the team to receive the American Industrial Hygiene Association 2018 Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award related to their work in this area.

Questions? Contact [email protected].​​​​​​