HCA 415 Applying Epidemiology


Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 8

Applying Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of epidemics. More specifically, it is the study of the occurrence and distribution of health problems. Using any of the epidemiological techniques outlined in the chapters from this week’s reading, address the questions for one of the case studies outlined below.

There are two parts to this assignment:

Part I: Provide a brief statement of the investigative issue. Describe the epidemiological steps you would take by addressing the questions asked within the case study you select.

Part II: Address the questions noted at the end of your selected case study. Your paper should be at least four pages in length, but can exceed this depending on how much detail you provide on the epidemiological steps you take for your case. You should use at least one additional scholarly source in addition to the textbook. Format your paper and all citations according to APA style guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center

Expert Solution Preview

This assignment requires the application of epidemiological techniques to analyze one of the two case studies provided in the reading material. The assignment is divided into two parts where the first part requires a brief statement of the investigative issue and the epidemiological steps to be taken, and the second part includes answering the questions presented at the end of the selected case study.

For the selected case study, Epidemiological Case #1: Gastroenteritis at a University in Texas, the investigative issue is the outbreak of gastroenteritis at a university in Texas that affected more than 200 students and staff. Upon receiving the report of an increase in gastroenteritis cases, the epidemiological steps to be taken are as follows:

1. Confirm diagnosis – The first step would be to confirm the diagnosis as it is highly infectious, and it is vital to determine the causative agent.

2. Define the population at risk – The next step would be to define the population at risk, which includes students and staff who consumed food from the school cafeteria on a specific day.

3. Descriptive epidemiology – The third step would be to conduct a descriptive epidemiology investigation by collecting data on the number of cases, time of onset, symptoms, and food consumed to identify the source and mode of transmission.

4. Develop a hypothesis – Based on the data collected, a hypothesis is developed to identify the potential source of infection.

5. Analyze and test hypothesis – The hypothesis is tested by conducting an analytical epidemiology investigation which involves comparing the data collected from individuals who were ill and those who were not ill.

6. Implement control measures – Once the source and mode of transmission are identified, appropriate control measures are implemented to contain the spread of the disease.

The questions to be answered for Part II of the assignment are:

1. What were the most likely goals of surveillance for this outbreak?

The most likely goals of surveillance for this outbreak were to determine the extent of the outbreak, identify the population at risk, and establish the source and mode of transmission.

2. What were the most likely reasons this outbreak occurred?

The most likely reasons for this outbreak could be contaminated food or water, poor sanitation, or poor personal hygiene.

3. What is the most likely causative agent?

The most likely causative agent for this outbreak is a virus, as it spreads easily through contaminated food or water or through direct contact with infected individuals.

4. What is the most likely source of the outbreak?

Based on the investigation, the most likely source of the outbreak is contaminated food served in the school cafeteria.

5. What control measures should be implemented?

Appropriate control measures that should be implemented include disinfection of surfaces and utensils, exclusion of sick individuals, improving hand hygiene and food handling practices in the cafeteria, and providing health education to students and staff about how to reduce the spread of gastroenteritis.

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