Importance of Epidemiology in Times of Covid 19

Importance of Epidemiology in Times of Covid 19
October 28, 2020
Author : Benny Carter

What is more relevant than the talk of the study of epidemiology in these pandemic-ridden times? Though, epidemiology was never just about the diseases as the nomenclature may majorly hint. It is because the subject - POPH90014 Epidemiology, is the key topic in at least three master courses offered by the University of Melbourne, in Melbourne, Australia. 

  1. Master of Epidemiology

  2. Master of Science (Epidemiology)

  3. Master of Public Health

The University of Melbourne is the alma mater to so many distinguished personalities in various fields, including Epidemiology - Prof. Ian H Frazer, - one of the names which were responsible for the invention of the life-saving Gardasil HPV vaccine against cervical cancer. The next name is Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, though not under the same category of study, of course. Her specialization was Law, however, the point that we are trying to get at is that the university already has a big name to ever contain its importance in one blog/article. And, students who are pursuing a course associated with Epidemiology, are lucky to have found one of the best universities anywhere across the globe. Coming back to where our focus should be, POPH90014 Epidemiology, is the specialty in analyzing the distribution and elements of a disease, in populations within a specified area. This also makes Epidemiology the footing science and the success behind Public Health.

 POPH90014 Epidemiology

POPH90014 Epidemiology - 'The Anatomy'

The subject curriculum of POPH90014 Epidemiology Assignment , in all the associate courses, encompasses the impact of epidemiology in Public Health, and the carrying out of the ethical quantitative study. Comprising the subject is the estimates in the frequency of diseases among a population; assessments on the relationships; as well as the influence certain risk factors attribute, that are investigated in this course. The next most obvious undertaking in the subject is descriptive and depictive epidemiology using the data accumulated from sources regularly. Discussion on research designs and the systematic reviews of the standard contemplation and experimentation is conducted. And, so are about their pros and cons, in quite a detail. 

The innuendoes of standard forms of bias, i.e., the information, and the selection biases — are reconsidered to inculcate among students the curiosity of reducing them, and thereby discovering new methods. 'Causal inference' in the study of epidemiology is evaluated inside a structure of critical probing of epidemiological corroborations. Then, of course, comes also the probing of the present-day infectious diseases, considering under the light of all the celebrated tenets of infectious disease communication, or say, spread, followed by the acquaintance with the public surveillance mechanism/systems in place. 

Special attention is given to fathoming the cultural determinants, for venturing research into the aboriginal population of Australia, and the epidemiology-related operations in the backdrop of aboriginal health, most probably via an online module that shall be sporting all the necessary elements and the overall cutting-edge information system required for seamless delivery.

What are the results?

Upon the conclusion of the POPH90014 Epidemiology, students should be thoroughly enlightened of the ins and outs of epidemiology to write a dissertation on the epidemiological outlook on public health. However, to specifically mention some, students would have some insightful knowledge about —

  1. The trio of frequency, impact, and relation, and how to interpret the standard summary measures in public health

  2. Easy utilization of routinely accumulated data to detect the patterns of an epidemic

  3. Detecting the functions of the pros and cons of the systematic and unsystematic reviews, and controlled trials, respectively. And, also of the cohort/trait studies.

  4. Inhibiting the effects of the great biases, i.e., information, confound, and selection.

  5. Examination of the extent of relationships being casual or otherwise

  6. Explaining the fundamental ideas in infectious disease communication and watch-over systems deployed for securing public health

  7. Championing the cause of epidemiological tenets of probing, and estimating; and conferring the measures of validity, as well as of the performance of the tests aforementioned.

The Epilogue of the Epidemiology - POPH90014

To sum the course and the article up, Epidemiology is an academic/professional medical venture into exploring the whats, whys, hows, whens, and wheres of public health, and disease statuses among a specified geographical/cultural community. Further, it would not be any less accurate inference to name Epidemiology the bedrock of public health, that significantly influences the drafting/structuring of public health policy. Not only in Australia, but everywhere, the evidence-based exercise of recognizing risk factors of a given disease, and aiming for a preventive/inhibitory healthcare system, both, in fact, has been a scientific blessing.

In the wake of Covid-19's invasive behavior into the social and economic lives of the global population, and having ousted the concept of 'normalcy', we can only go back to the saying - 'prevention is better than cure'; and urge the importance of Epidemiology to increase a hundred folds so that more students get into the course. It is because the greater the students enroll themselves in the course of Epidemiology, the greater are the chances of forecasting and 'taming' the future Covid-19s to only affect us in acceptable or non-existent degrees.

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About the Author

Benny Carter

Benny Carter

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