The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines the epidemiology like the treatise that is centered on epidemics. It is a discipline of science dedicated to the analysis of the causes, the links, the way in which they are distributed, the regularity and the control of different factors that are associated with the Health.
Epidemiology uses resources from Health Sciences (as the medicine) and the social Sciences to study the welfare of people of a given community. Be part of the preventive medicine and assists in the design and development of public health.
The epidemics they constitute the greatest point of interest for epidemiology. An epidemic is known as the disease that affects a large number of people at the same time and that spreads in a specific geographical area during a certain period of time. Its effect can often be harmful.
The appearance of an epidemic supposes a number of patients that exceeds the average predicted by the specialists. For example: if in country X 40 cases of a disease are detected per month, during a pandemic that number can be multiplied several times, which is a higher level of incidence of the projected.
Epidemiology attempts to establish the cause and effect link between exposure and disease. By analyzing the social causes that lead to the development of an epidemic, epidemiology makes it possible to develop prevention campaigns and serve those affected more effectively. That is why this discipline is key to community health.
The epidemiologist and the method used
The epidemiologist is the one that is dedicated to epidemiology and its object of study is the way in which a disease is distributed based on time and place in a society, so it can determine if its presence has spread or diminished, compare how it is its frequency between different areas and if the people from one affected area and another have different characteristics in which the disease manifests itself.
The points studied by epidemiology are:
*Aspects demographic of those affected (sex, age and ethnic group to which they belong)
*Aspects biological (antibodies, enzymes, blood cells, physiological functions … and what can be used to understand the effect that the disease causes)
*Aspects social and economic (economic situation, activities they carry out, circumstances of their birth …)
*Aspects genetic (blood group and family history in similar diseases)
*Habits (consumption of narcotics, cigarettes, alcohol or any medicine, as well as degree of physical activity and diet)
For the development of this science the scientific method and consists of conducting an exhaustive study on the lives of affected individuals, individually and collectively, in the community of which it is a part or where it has become ill.
In addition, epidemiology proposes plans for prevention for future infections, in order to prevent the disease from spreading, acquiring highly harmful characteristics, which may become a pandemic or epidemic and that will put in risk group survival.
The epidemiological method is the one that has been designed by epidemiologists in order to help obtain a hypothesis that allow the investigation to be carried out. Through this method, an attempt is made to eliminate all the possible causes already known, in order to establish a rational study that reaches effective conclusions.