Sample Healthcare Paper on Epidemiology – The Basic Science of Public Health

Epidemiologic surveillance entails the constant collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data essential for the prevention and control of diseases (Gilbert & Cliffe, 2016). It helps in understanding the epidemiology of diseases thereby serving as a guide in the formulation of public health policy and strategies (Gilbert & Cliffe, 2016). It is also useful in determining the need for health interventions and their effectiveness. Furthermore, as it is a continuous process, it is an early warning system for identifying public health emergencies. I chose this topic due to the increasing burden of acute and chronic illnesses on the global population. As such, there is a need for progressive disease surveillance to reduce disease morbidity and mortality.

Bioterrorism is the deliberate use of bioweapons such as pathogens and toxins to harm human beings, animals, or the environment  (Gilbert & Cliffe, 2016). If there was a bioterrorist attack, epidemiologic surveillance would serve as an early warning to warrant immediate action to combat the emergency. It would help in monitoring and determining the epidemiology of the bioterrorist attack thereby leading to the formulation of public health policies and strategies. It would also be useful in the case definition of the disease at hand and the monitoring of disease trends in the general population.

Using the example of botulism, the characteristic clinical picture of descending paralysis should prompt consideration of botulism diagnosis (Thirunavukkaras et al, 2018). Patients in the population with this symptomatology would be considered as possible botulism cases and then reported to the health authorities for further evaluation. A series of laboratory tests would be performed on the patients as determined by the epidemiologist to determine the etiology of the outbreak (Thirunavukkaras et al, 2018).  A presumptive diagnosis of botulism would be given after confirmation of the laboratory results thereby warranting immediate measures to be undertaken.

 

References

Gilbert, R., & Cliffe, S. J. (2016). Public health surveillance. In Public Health Intelligence (pp. 91-110). Springer, Cham. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-28326-5_5

Thirunavukkarasu, N., Johnson, E., Pillai, S., Hodge, D., Stanker, L., Wentz, T & Brown, E. (2018). Botulinum neurotoxin detection methods for public health response and surveillance. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology6, 80. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbioe.2018.00080/full