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Both long-standing and recently-emerging infectious illnesses place a heavy burden on society. Infectious illness control is difficult because of the interdependence of multiple systems (biological, societal, and economic). Operational research can improve health systems by using a variety of problem-solving methodologies and computational methods to back up decision-making at all stages of disease control. This paper highlights areas of chance for operational research to contribute to efficient and effective infectious disease management & improved health outcomes. These areas include: improved understanding of disease biology; intervention planning and implementation; assessing economic feasibility of new strategies; identifying for cost reductions in routine processes; and informing health policy.
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