Meaning of Epidemiology

What is Epidemiology:

Epidemiology is the science that studies epidemics, that is, it is the science that studies the phenomenon of the spread of diseases that affect societies expansively within the framework of a cycle of time.

The word has its etymological origin in Greek terms epi, prefix that means 'about'; demo, which means ‘people’ and logos which means ‘study, reasoning or treatise’. Therefore, epidemiology studies the diseases that affect the people.

Specifically, epidemiology investigates the distribution of health problems among the population, the factors that may be triggers and the status of the identified phenomenon, in order to be able to design public health policies that guarantee the disappearance of the scourge.

It is, therefore, an investigation whose main purpose or function is to control diseases, especially those contagious due to their speed, which threaten to decimate the population.

In epidemiology, diseases are approached as a public health problem and not as an individual problem. Indeed, throughout history, epidemics have been a major cause of mortality. For example, during the so-called Black Death in the Middle Ages, Europe lost between 30 and 60% of its population.

The methods of epidemiology are surveillance, descriptive studies and analytical studies according to the needs that are recorded and the specific purposes of the investigation.

See also:

  • Epidemic.
  • Public health.

Objectives of epidemiology

Through a conscientious study, epidemiology collaborates with the identification of possible sources of infection, the reduction of risk factors for the spread of diseases and the design of public policies and health care plans that help to curb the impact of the disease. disease.

We can summarize your goals as follows:

  • Identify the health problems of the communities;
  • Determine the morbidity and mortality rates;
  • Describe the evolution of diseases;
  • Identify risk factors;
  • Anticipate the evolution and spread of the disease;
  • Design intervention and prevention programs;
  • Apply the programs and monitor them;
  • Evaluate the results.
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