Epidemiological Concepts

  • Alfred S. Evans


Epidemiology is the study of the determinants and distribution of health and disease in populations. (60a) It is a quantitative science concerned with the circumstances under which disease processes occur, the factors that affect their incidence and spread, and the use of this knowledge for prevention and control. (34) For infectious diseases, one must study the circumstances under which both infection and disease occur, for these may be different. Infection is the consequence of an encounter of a potentially pathogenic microorganism with a susceptible human host through an appropriate portal of entry. Exposure is the key factor, and the sources of infection lie mostly outside the individual human host within the environment or other infected hosts. Disease represents one of the possible consequences of infection, and the factors important in its development are mostly intrinsic to the host, although the dosage and virulence of the infecting microbe play a role.


Typhoid Fever Genital Herpes Enteric Infection Foodborne Outbreak Epidemic Curve 
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Suggested Reading

  1. Benenson, A. S. (ed.), Control of Communicable Diseases in Man, 13th ed., American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1981.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred S. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.WHO Serum Reference Bank, Section of International Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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