Epidemiology is the basic science of public health, as it is "the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states in specified populations, and the application of this study to control health problems." (CDC, Excite) This basically means it is the study of what causes health issues, its spread amongst populations, and using such analysis to solve such health issues. Determinants of good health, and their distribution in a population are also a common subject for study in epidemiology.


The purpose of this book is to provide an introductory look into the field of epidemiology to those interested in such issues, but not to ultimately replace any sort of advanced textbook. It will look at:

  1. The history and development of public health,
  2. Terms and concepts applied in the public health field,
  3. Common concerns and knowledge related to public health (i.e. what causes diseases, preventive methods), and
  4. An overview of the math used in epidemiological studies.

The goal is to demystify a subject which may appear daunting at first, but whose knowledge is beneficial to the general public.

History of Public Health

Knowledge limits hysteria; an undertaker during the Bubonic Plague, one of the most infamous epidemics in human history.
  1. On the History of Public Health
  2. Give Me Some of That Old Time Medicine
  3. Hippocrates: Grandfather of Epidemiology
  4. An Infamous Epidemic: Bubonic Plague
  5. Pox Parties: Smallpox and Vaccination
  6. A Treatise on Scurvey
  7. 1789: A Year of Revolutions
  8. Yellow Death: Yellow Fever in America
  9. John Snow: Father of Modern Epidemiology
  10. Influenza: The Flu of 1918
  11. Tuskegee: Ethics in Public Health
  12. 1981: Inklings of the AIDS Crisis
  13. Nutrition: Food and Preventive Measures
  14. Public Health in the Unwelcome Spotlight
  15. 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic
  16. Review of Important Concepts and Developments
  17. Section Quizzes and Chapter Test

Introduction to Fundamental Concepts

  1. What Is Epidemiology Anyway?
  2. Case Study: Dozens Sickened by Apparent Food Poisoning
  3. Why Is Epidemiology Important?
  4. Understanding Terms: What Do I Mean When I Say...
  5. Defining the Steps of an Outbreak
  6. The Scientific Method
  7. Controlling the Problem
  8. Review of Important Concepts and Developments
  9. Section Quizzes and Chapter Test

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