What is Epidemiology?

The principles of epidemiology aim to comprehend the conditions of injuries, diseases, and environmental hazards. They assist in containing the transmission of diseases.

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Epidemiology is the study of how frequently diseases occur in different groups of people. Its primary use is to consider and assess strategies to avoid any illness, which acts as a path to treat patients in whom the disease has already developed. The principles of epidemiology aim to comprehend the conditions of injuries, diseases and environmental hazards. They assist in containing the transmission of diseases.

Its main emphasis is on infectious diseases, and Epidemiologists ascertain why contagious diseases such as pneumonia spread to some particular populations and measure how rapidly they spread. Other infectious diseases can comprise foodborne illness and influenza.

Apart from the source and transmission of infectious diseases, Epidemiologists analyse other health issues and causes. These may consist of the following:

  • Non-infectious diseases such as the increase of a specific type of cancer or a rise in heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
  • While these cannot be spread from one person to another like a virus, epidemiologists understand communities deeply for widespread or localised cases of non-infectious diseases.
  • Environmental exposures to air pollutants, radioactive materials, lead, asthma triggers, or other contaminants can adversely impact a population.
  • Injuries and violence in communities, namely domestic violence, suicide or homicide. As patterns of injuries and violence turn time to time and from community to community, epidemiologists dissect approaches to help restrict and prevent violence.
  • Terrorism and acts of intense violence in particular communities and society as a whole. For example, epidemiologists assisted muster data when the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
  • Natural disasters are studied to leave a disastrous impact on the lives of numerous people in diverse communities.

Epidemiologic concepts are subjected to populations of different kinds, considering individuals as part of the collective whole of society. It is the measurement of disease results concerning a population at risk. The population at stake is the group of people, healthy or sick, who would be included as cases if they had studied the disease. For instance, if a medical professional measured how often patients take advice from him about deafness, the population at risk would consist of those people on his list who might view him about a hearing problem if they had one. Patients, who are still on the list, had shifted to another area would not consult that doctor. They would not hail from the population at risk.

It has a considerable impact on health care, including health information management and community health. As per the American Health Information Management Association, “Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analysing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care.” It takes into account the whole of society as its patient. It seeks to attain and analyse vital health information to have the well-being of members of all communities.

The discipline of descriptive epidemiology aims to measure broader aspects of a public health issue. Epidemiologists start by collecting and studying data such as understanding what a public health issue is, where its existence comes from, who is affected by it, and what treatments are available.

Epidemiology plays a significant role in analysing health concerns and propagating essential information regarding substantial health issues. For instance, concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiologists have been involved in sharing authentic information.

It addresses and measures several categories of health issues and forms policies and recommendations for the public. This path can work as an essential way to assist populations in decreasing the threats linked with a specific subject.

For instance, once epidemiologists and medical practitioners comprehended that COVID-19 could spread through water droplets, a suggestion was made for people to wear masks. Later, policies were implemented that required people in some parts of the US to wear masks to contain the disease’s spread further.