Opinion Article - Journal of Public Health Policy and Planning (2023) Volume 7, Issue 4
Applied epidemiology: Understanding disease patterns and preventing outbreaks.
Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
- Corresponding Author:
- Oscar Rhys
Institute for Health and Productivity Studies
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Received: 20-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. AAPHPP-23-96935; Editor assigned: 24-Jun-2023, PreQC No. AAPHPP-23-96935 (PQ); Reviewed: 06-Jul-2023, QC No. AAPHPP-23-96935; Revised: 18-Jul-2023, Manuscript No. AAPHPP-23-96935 (R); Published: 22-Jul-2022, DOI: 10.35841/aaphpp- 7.4.185
Citation: Rhys O. Applied epidemiology: Understanding disease patterns and preventing outbreaks. J Public Health Policy Plan. 2023;7(4):185
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations. It involves the application of statistical methods and techniques to investigate patterns and causes of disease in populations, and to develop effective prevention and control strategies. Applied epidemiology refers to the use of epidemiological methods to address specific public health issues or problems. It involves the application of epidemiological principles and techniques to real-world situations, such as outbreaks of infectious diseases, chronic disease prevention, and environmental health concerns .
One of the primary goals of applied epidemiology is to identify the causes of disease and factors that contribute to its spread. This can involve conducting surveys and investigations to determine the prevalence of disease in specific populations, analysing data to identify risk factors for disease, and conducting case-control studies to identify factors that increase the risk of disease. Applied epidemiology also plays a crucial role in preventing and controlling disease outbreaks. During an outbreak, epidemiologists work closely with healthcare providers, public health officials, and other stakeholders to identify the source of the outbreak, track the spread of the disease, and develop strategies to contain and control it .
One example of applied epidemiology in action is the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Epidemiologists have played a critical role in tracking the spread of the virus, identifying risk factors for infection, and developing strategies to control the outbreak. They have also worked to develop and implement vaccination campaigns, which have been critical in reducing the spread of the virus. In addition to infectious diseases, applied epidemiology is also used to address chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Epidemiologists use a range of techniques, such as cohort studies and randomized controlled trials, to identify risk factors for chronic disease and develop interventions to prevent or manage them .
Finally, applied epidemiology is also important for addressing environmental health concerns. Epidemiologists use techniques such as exposure assessment and risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the environment and determine their impact on human health. They also work to develop strategies to reduce exposure to these hazards and protect public health. One of the key tasks of applied epidemiology is to monitor disease patterns and trends over time. This involves collecting and analysing data from a range of sources, such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and public health departments. Epidemiologists use this data to identify patterns and trends in disease occurrence and to track the impact of interventions, such as vaccination campaigns or policy changes .
Another important task of applied epidemiology is to investigate outbreaks of infectious diseases. When an outbreak occurs, epidemiologists work to identify the source of the outbreak, track the spread of the disease, and develop strategies to contain and control it. This often involves conducting case investigations, identifying and testing potential sources of infection, and implementing targeted interventions to prevent further spread. It is a critical field that plays a crucial role in understanding disease patterns and preventing outbreaks. By applying epidemiological principles and techniques to realworld situations, epidemiologists can help to protect public health and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities around the world .
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