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SAS stands for Statistical Analysis System; it is an integrated system of software products that manages large data sets, and it is used in many ways. In the field of epidemiology, it is used for data mining, data retrieval and statistical analysis.
Regular duties of an epidemiologist includes
Any disease can be declared epidemic, when large number of susceptible people are exposed to the infectious agents.
Explosive epidemic: It is characterized by the occurrence of many cases in relatively short period. The infection usually occurs when food or water becomes contaminated by the bacteria or virus, although other vehicles are also responsible for the infection
Person to person: It takes a longer period to infect compare to Explosive epidemic. An infective agent will take different routes to infect the person like respiratory or gastrointestinal.
Endemic: When a disease persists in specific geographical region and to certain population for a definite period and at consistent level is referred as endemic. Malaria is an endemic disease in Africa or South America.
Epidemic: When a disease infect higher number of individuals or community without any bar for geographical condition or location, it is referred as epidemic. For example, 1000000 people affected by malaria in Africa is considered endemic, but if same amount of people is infected in Switzerland & USA as well then, it will be considered as epidemic.
Pandemic: Any disease that spreads worldwide in a short period is referred as pandemic. Spanish Flu is one such example.
An epidemiologist needs a bit of everything; he should have knowledge of various subjects like
To prevent the disease to spread further epidemiologist will take three steps
Incubation period is also referred as a latent period, which means it is the time elapsed between exposure to a pathogenic organism or chemical, and when the signs of the disease are first appeared. The period can be as long as 30 years or as short as a minute depending on the type of infection.
Reservoir is used to refer the habitat of an infectious agent where it thrives, grows and multiplies. The reservoirs can be human reservoir, animal reservoir and environmental reservoirs.
Three techniques are used to investigate the occurrence of disease:
Descriptive epidemiology: The descriptive epidemiology describes the occurrence of the disease based on the data, collated by place, time and person.
Analytical epidemiology: Analytical epidemiology is again classified in two, first is Case Control method. In this method the cause behind the disease is identified by comparing two different groups, one infected with the disease while another group is of uninfected. The other method is Cohort method, which is more like an experimental method, where the two groups, one infected by the causal factor while another which is not are observed and analyzed.
Experimental epidemiology: In this method, an experimental model is prepared in which one or more selected factors are manipulated. For example, from the group of infected people, few people are administered with the drugs. The result of the people with drugs and without drugs are analyzed to see the clinical difference in them.
Morbidity rate is referred to the number of existing or new cases of a particular disease or conditions per 1000 people.
The core process for epidemiology includes:
Active Surveillance: Actively seeking for cases by proactively calling and visiting hospitals,
Passive Surveillance: Information is provided to the health agency without an initiating action by the agency.
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