Epidemiology and Prevention
Epidemiology is the study of disease and its analysis. It is a relatively new field which requires understanding of medicine, biology, mathematics and social sciences.
In simple words, the role of epidemiologist is to uncover the relationship between the disease and its contributing factors. To solve such cases, epidemiologist conduct investigations, collect data and design studies for intervention. Whenever there is an outbreak of disease, it is the job of epidemiologist to find a possible cause of that particular disease by suggesting a plausible course to combat it.
Because well-being of a society lies at the core of its basic values, epidemiology is also related to population based health management . In fact, epidemiology is mainly used to assess the health of a community whereby professionals devise methods to prevent the onset of disease and increase well being of the target population. As science continues to uncover new disease, the science of epidemiology continues to garner more respect.
While most epidemiologists are physicians, anyone with a Masters in public health, medicine or philosophy can pursue a career as epidemiologist. Utilizing available resource, these professionals study the habitat, symptoms and related patterns to discover the source of disease. It is only after the source is identified that doctors, paramedics and social workers are able to apply intervention to control its spread. Epidemiology is a scientific study based on evidence therefore it is necessary for epidemiologists to craft new design every time they tackle an assignment.
Although communicable diseases have been mostly wiped out in industrialized world, but epidemics of Influenza, Hepatitis and Lassa fever have been regularly recorded. Moreover, new diseases such as AIDS have once again challenged medical science to consult epidemiologists who seem to be the best choice if society has to eradicate such nuisance, forever. As population grows, there is always a chance of new epidemic. Such was the case in Spain, where in 1981, 20000 people were affected by ingesting olive oil saturated with contaminated rape seed oil. The epidemic was named ‘toxic allergic syndrome’ and it was only contained when epidemiologists painstakingly figured out that the cause.