Definition of 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 time cycle.

The word has its etymological origin in Greek terms epiprefix meaning ‘about’; demowhich means ‘people’ and logos which means ‘study, reasoning or treatise’. Therefore, epidemiology studies diseases that affect people.

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

It is, therefore, a research whose main purpose or function consists of the disease controlespecially those of contagion due to their speed, which threaten to decimate the population.

In epidemiology, diseases are addressed as a public health problem and not as an individual problem. Indeed, throughout history, Epidemics have been an important cause of mortality. For example, during the call 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 registered and the specific purposes of the research.

See also: Public health.

Objectives of epidemiology

Through a thorough 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 curb the impact of the disease. disease.

We can summarize its objectives as follows:

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

See also: Morbidity.