Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague

1st Edition

Steven E Rigdon, Ronald D. Fricker, Jr.

Chapman and Hall/CRC
February 17, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 200 Pages - 55 Color Illustrations
ISBN 9781138742345 - CAT# K32373
Series: ASA-CRC Series on Statistical Reasoning in Science and Society

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Today the citizens of developed counties have never experienced a large-scale disease outbreak.

One reason is the success of the public health community, including epidemiologists and biostatisticians, in tracking and identifying disease outbreaks. Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague is the story of the application of statistics for disease detection and tracking. The work of public health officials often critically depends on the use of statistical methods to help discern whether an outbreak may be occurring and, if there is sufficient evidence of an outbreak, then to locate and track it. Statisticians also help design surveys and experiments to collect critical information, and they analyze the resulting data to help investigators zero in on a cause for a disease.



·         Discusses the crucial roles of statistics in early disease detection.

·         Outlines the concepts and methods of disease surveillance.

·         Covers surveillance techniques for communicable diseases like Zika and chronic diseases such as cancer.

·         Gives real world examples of disease investigations including smallpox, syphilis, anthrax, yellow fever, and microcephaly (and its relationship to the Zika virus).


This book tells the story of how medical and public health professionals use statistics to separate critical disease information from all the noise of our modern world so that they can most effectively intervene and mitigate the effects of disease. Through the process of identifying an outbreak, finding its cause, and developing a plan to prevent its reoccurrence, statisticians and epidemiologists help improve public health across the world.