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Flashcards in Epidemiology Deck (49)
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1

Epidemiology definition

study of cause, development and transmission in the human population

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2 approaches to epidemiology

1. retrospective
2. prospective

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retrospective epidemiology

look back from outbreak to source

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John Snow

traced cholera outbreak to fecal contamination

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Florence Nightingale

traced typhus to lice

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Semmelweiss

traced uterine infection to doctors handling cadavers before delivering babies

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prostpective epidemiology

try to predict, recognize, prevent or remove conditions before disease can occur

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4 disease transmission patterns

1. pandemic
2. epidemic
3. endemic
4. sporadic

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pandemic

world wide effects, more than one continent
AIDS, flu

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epidemic

widespread illness with increasing transmission
polio, Chlamydia

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endemic

illness always present
chicken pox, Lyme disease, Histoplasmosis, cholera

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sporadic

cases occur occasionally in different locations
tetanus in US

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5 stages of disease development

1. incubation
2. prodromal period
3. illness
4. decline
5. convalensce

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incubation

time between infection and onset of symptoms

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incubation time variables

1. type of pathogen
2. virulence of agent
3. inefective dose
4. health of immune system
5. infection site

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prodromal period

onset of mild disease symptoms

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illness

display of classic symptoms of disease
immune system has not fully responded

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decline

typical symptoms of disease decrease
pathogen declines

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convalescence

period of recovery

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two patterns of infection

acute
chronic

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3 disease prevention techniques

1. reduce, remove or prevent contact with reservoirs
2. prevent or reduce transmission of pathogens
3. immunization of population

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3 reservoirs

1. humans
2. animals
3. non-living

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zoonosis

transmission from animals to humans

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non living reservoir examples

soil, water, milk

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person to person transmission

1. directly from person to person
2. indirect by fomites, water, food, air
3. respiratory droplets- exhales, sneeze, cough
4. vectors

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fomites

inanimate object that carries disease-causing organisms

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prevention efforts to prevent person to person transmission

1. hand washing
2. clean drinking water
3. clean food
4. insect control
5. improved nutrition
only airborne pathogens are unavoidable

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two types of immunization

active
passive

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active immunizations

antigens stimulate immune syster to produce antibodies and produce memory

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antigen

surface characteristic of agent