What is Epidemiology?

What is Epidemiology?

Tim Leach, Contributor

Mrs. Doyle and Ms. Rocha are busy in the midst of their second year co-teaching Epidemiology here at Nashoba. Ms. Rocha teaches the literature portion while Mrs. Doyle covers the science portion of this two-period interdisciplinary class, with two credits for each of the two periods. These two teachers make this class extremely fun for students to learn about diseases, how those diseases work, and ways to prevent them. Additionally, the English portion is during the same period as other seniors’ English classes, so don’t worry, you won’t miss the Senior lunch!

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and the determinants of a health-related state in a specific population and then an application to figure out a solution. In this class, students learn about diseases and their transmission, and other health-related issues. Epidemiology is only for Seniors, so if you’re a Junior looking to talk about HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, teen pregnancy, Tuberculosis being used as sex appeal, and much more, then this is the class for you!

Distribution talks about the who, when and where. Who is the disease/health-related state affecting? When is this happening? How often does it happen? Where is it occurring? First, one wants to look for what the health-related issue is and then see who it is affecting: a specific age group, population, gender, or everyone?

Determinants is the why and how. There are diseases that are endemic: always susceptible to a specific population.  Could specific genetic make-ups, specific behaviors, certain environmental exposures, or other factors be involved?

Health-related state could be any disease, injury, birth defect, occupational health, environmental health issue or more, and the specific population is the population that is affected by the health-related state that is being studied.

Application  could be anything that helps the population be aware of the health-related state and that enables anyone that is at-risk to take precautions. It could also be something along the lines of medications or vaccines, which involve stopping the spread of infection.

Overallthis class talks about diseases and other health-related states that affect people, along with the process of finding solutions to cure these problems.

I recommend this class to any Junior. It has a limited class size, so first-come first-serve. I took this class first semester and really liked it; I learned a lot of new things and had lots of fun in the class. Anyone with even a slight interest in health-related subjects or diseases should definitely consider taking Epidemiology!