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
Published February 21, 2020
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 countries have never experienced a large-scale disease outbreak like the plague that could sweep through communities with impunity killing millions. 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.  With the recent outbreaks of diseases such as swine and bird flu, Ebola, and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the role that epidemiologists and biostatisticians play is more important than ever.


·         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).

Via the process of identifying an outbreak, finding its cause, and developing a plan to prevent its reoccurrence, this book tells the story of how medical and public health professionals use statistics to help mitigate the effects of disease.  As of February 2020, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is challenging governments and health organizations to contain it, with travel bans to China being implemented, borders being closed, and quarantines being implemented and enforced.  This book will help readers understand how statisticians and epidemiologists help combat the spread of such diseases in order to improve public health across the world.