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Measles viruses. Source: Gelderblom, colouring: Schnartendorff/RKI

Prevention of infection

The tasks of the Robert Koch Institute include the monitoring of emer­ging di­sea­ses and risk factors in the ge­ne­ral po­pu­la­tion as well as the provision of scientific research. This allows appropriate measures to protect the ge­ne­ral public health to be taken in a rapid and effective way. These tasks make the RKI the central insti­tu­tion and the coordination centre for the Federal Ministry for Health for applied and basic research in the areas of

  • infectious diseases, including infection epidemiology
  • epidemiology of non-transmissible diseases.

On this basis, the RKI is in the position to suggest measures for in­ter­ven­tion and prevention, to fill gaps in the knowledge and ensure the quality of health scree­ning and care. The RKI takes part in the pre­pa­ra­tion of guide­lines, re­com­men­da­tions and expert opinions for the federal government, the par­li­a­ment, the scientific sector and other health-related political issues.

An extensive knowledge base is a prerequisite for the above tasks and the RKI ensures that this is up-to-date and continuously extended. Cur­rent­ly, the RKI is responsible for a pilot study to prepare for a complex health survey in children and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 18 years. (

Additional information on these issues are available at the respective German internet section.