Understanding Epidemiology and Its Terms

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Understanding Epidemiology and Its Terms
Understanding Epidemiology and Its Terms

Epidemiology is the study of the pattern of spread of disease or he alth-related events and the factors that can influence these events and how to control them. This knowledge was also used to map the pattern of the spread of COVID-19 some time ago

The application of epidemiology is carried out through investigations of he alth-related events, such as disease outbreaks. These investigations are generally carried out in various spheres of society, ranging from a small scope to a larger scope, such as the home environment, schools, regions, countries, and the world.

Understanding Epidemiology and Its Terms - Alodokter

Terms in Epidemiology

There are several terms in epidemiology, namely outbreaks, endemics, epidemics, and pandemics. All these terms are distinguished based on the level of spread of the disease. Here is the explanation:

1. Plague

An outbreak occurs when a disease spreads suddenly and infects more people than usual in an area or community. Outbreaks can last for a short period of time, but can also last for years.

The term plague is often used to describe a disease that only spreads in certain areas. However, not all diseases can be called a plague. A disease can be said to be an epidemic when the disease has the following conditions:

  • Long time no see
  • A new, previously unknown disease has arrived
  • This is the first time it has infected people in the area

2. Endemic

Endemic diseases are diseases that always appear and become characteristics in certain areas, such as dengue fever and malaria in Indonesia. This disease will always be present in the area, but with a low and controllable number of cases.

3. Epidemic

An epidemic occurs when a disease has spread rapidly to one or more specific areas and the spread cannot be controlled. For example, when COVID-19 was limited to the Wuhan area, China.

However, epidemic disease does not only refer to infectious diseases. For example, increasing obesity cases in an area can also be called an epidemic.

4. Pandemic

A Pandemic is an epidemic that has spread widely across several countries or continents. In other words, this disease has become a common problem for all citizens of the world. Examples of diseases classified as pandemics are HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

Not only that, influenza, which currently looks mild, was once a disease that was included in the pandemic category and became a problem for all countries in the world.

Types of Epidemiology

The scope of epidemiology can vary. Following are some types of epidemiology:

Epidemiology of infectious diseases

Science that understands the development and spread of certain infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, as well as formulating effective steps to prevent and control them.

Epidemiology of chronic diseases

Scope of epidemiology that researches, seeks treatment, and determines the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Environmental Epidemiology

Science that analyzes how individual external factors can affect he alth, ranging from pollution, housing environment, stress, and nutritional intake.

Epidemiology of violence and injury

Scope of epidemiology that aims to address and identify risk factors for accidental and intentional injuries, such as car accidents.

Epidemiology is an important science for he alth workers or doctors. With the help of epidemiology, the government and he alth workers can map disease patterns so that they can take preventive steps and find solutions to deal with a particular disease or event.

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