Conduct an online visit of your state health department and review your local newspaper or online TV news station (most have an archive) to find an epidemiological event that occurred within the past year in your home county, city, state, or country
Module 4 Overview Introduction Epidemiology can be defined simply as a science that addresses patterns, frequency and causes of disease in specific population groups. Epidemiology reports help us understand the interrelationship between host (any organism that can be infected by a pathogen), agent (organisms that result in the occurrence of a disease), and the environment in which a disease occurred. The two types of epidemiological reports you may be most familiar with are morbidity and mortality rates. Morbidity rates refer to the frequency of a disease occurrence among a defined population and mortality rates tell us how often death has occurred among a particular population group in relation to a specific disease during a specified time period. Community/public health nurses use this information to identify key health concern among a population of interest. Epidemiology concepts are used to improve the health of population groups. Nurses working in community settings are often called upon to help with the investigation of a disease outbreak, sometimes called “epidemiological events”. Food borne illness, water contamination, or a disease outbreak of lice in an elementary school are all examples of epidemiological events, where the nurse may be called upon to gather information and educate the public on how to control the spread of the outbreak or contamination. Learning how your community or your state health department shares information about disease outbreaks will help you to be better informed on how to educate families and population groups on how to reduce their risk to certain diseases. Learning Objectives After completing this module, you will be able to: •Understand the development of epidemiology •Apply the basic concepts of epidemiology •Interpret and apply epidemiologic principles to a selected population group Reading & Resources •Harkness & DeMarco (2016) Read Chapters 6 & 7 •Review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Introduction to Epidemiology. •Visit Public Health Resources: State Health Departments. Click on your state, then visit the Health Department in your state Learning Activities •Discussion: Participate in Discussion 4 – Questions 1 & 2. Discussion 4 – Question 1 Conduct an online visit of your state health department and review your local newspaper or online TV news station (most have an archive) to find an epidemiological event that occurred within the past year in your home county, city, state, or country. Examples might include food borne outbreaks, water contamination, or a disease outbreak. [Ok to use an event that occurred in a neighboring state/country if nothing had been reported in your location within the past year]. Include a description of the event, including the specific location and time period. Include specific information about the host; agent and environmental factors-Does the CDC require mandatory reporting for this event? Include at least 2 relevant and scholarly references. Remember to respond to at least two of your peers. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for Discussion Participation Guidelines & Grading Criteria.
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