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Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Control: A Global by Roger Webber

By Roger Webber

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Additional resources for Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Control: A Global Perspective, 2nd Edition

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7), a time of shortages, malnutrition and difficult communications – the worst possible time to have to do emergency vaccination to contain the epidemic. Just a increased strain threatens her pregnancy, while her physical reserves are stretched even further. Once harvest comes, then body weight is restored, excess crops are stored or sold and some respite taken before the cycle repeats itself. This pattern leads to the following observations: 1. Attendance for treatment at medical institutions and admission to hospital often follow a cyclical pattern.

Once an individual has experienced an episode of the disease (whether manifest or not), he or she may develop immunity (either temporary or permanent) or die. When a certain number of individuals have developed immunity then there are insufficient susceptibles and the infection dies out. This collective permanent immunity (as occuring in viral infections) is called the herd immunity. After a period of time, depending on the size of the population, this herd immunity becomes diluted by new individuals born (or by immigration) and a new epidemic can take place.

4. Three factors describe a point source epidemic: . the epidemic curve; . the incubation period of the disease; . the time of infection. If only two of these factors are known, then the third can be deduced. From the epidemic curve, the median (or geometric mean) of the incubation periods is determined. If the disease is known from its clinical features, then the incubation period will also be known (Chapter 19). Therefore, by measuring this known incubation period back in time from the median incubation period on the curve or the minimum incubation period from the beginning of the curve, the time of infection can be calculated.

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