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College of Veterinary Medicine


          Level I  › Epidemiologic Pattern Recognition ›  





Epidemiological Pattern Recognition



To understand the effect of time as a factor in determining the epidemiologic study of infections.

Problem Definition

How does one decipher patterns of occurrence of diseases or health conditions in populations?

Introduction: Describing diseases in populations

This phase of epidemiology deals with observing, describing and recording the occurrence and evolution of disordered states of health in a population and seeks to discover their causes and prevent them. It is carried out by answering:

* how much disease (cases) is (are) there in a population?
* when do these cases occur, i.e. what is their temporal distribution?
* where do they occur?
* who are the cases and the non-cases?

"Who" refers to the specific characteristics such as breed, age, sex, etc. of the animals that are (or are not) cases. These characteristics are also termed host factors.

The rationale for approaching the study of diseases in populations in the manner described in the preceding paragraphs may be found in two premises of modern epidemiology.

These are:

 1. that diseases in populations do not occur in random fashion, and
  2. that diseases in populations do have multiple determinants.










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