The study of the distribution, incidence, and potential control of a disease.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
1answer
1k views

To what extent is Ebola airborne? (aerosols)

Recently, CIDRAP at the University of Minnesota announced that Ebola may be more transmissible through aerosols than previously thought. I lack the familiarity with the field to critically evaluate ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How long does the Ebola virus remain infectious on contaminated items or surfaces?

I'm sure there will be variation depending on what the contaminated item or surface is made of - linens, I could imagine, would remain dangerous for longer than a door-knob. But if the items are not ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What are the disadvantages of forbidding flights to and from the African Ebola region?

After looking through the available Stack Exchange sites, this one seems to come closest to the appropriate place to ask... Popular opinion, including my own, is that banning flights to and from the ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

How is it possible to even hope for an ebola epidemic of this current size to remain contained to a relatively small part of Africa?

As of 2014-09-14 at least 5347 cases of ebola have been identitied. Some estimates are much higher. While experts are sounding the alarm to try to get sufficient resources to contain the outbreak, ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the current Ebola outbreak different from previous outbreaks?

I don't know if this question has an answer at this time, but I would like to know if there is some biological reason why the current Ebola outbreak is so much more complicated and widespread than in ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Penetrance Calculation of a Spontaneous Mutation

I'm trying to estimate the penetrance of a disease in a population given a rare spontaneous mutation that confers predisposition in an autosomal dominant manner. Given that the mutation is ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
3
votes
3answers
92 views

Why do 6-8% of diphtheria patients do not develop natural immunity after being affected?

I am thinking of why some patients do not have natural immunity after exposure to the A-B toxin of diphthria. I think the A-B exotoxin is the key factor causing this disease and should trigger memory ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Could murder be modeled as an infectious disease?

Background "When swine flu hit the population it spiked in certain areas and tapered off in neighboring regions, it hits hardest where people have least protection and this pattern is more ...
0
votes
0answers
107 views

Understanding SIR models in epidemiology

We are doing research on a SIR model of an epidemic. For one of the subsections, we are talking about saturation content rate of a human. We would like to know if anyone has an understanding of ...
0
votes
1answer
463 views

What's the difference between life expectancy of cigarette smoker and general population?

Some say that smoking cigarettes will shorten lifespan. By how many years is the lifespan of a typical smoker shortened? What are the common cause(s) of death among smokers? Are there any known ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

Where can I find a list of diseases and their incidence?

Say I am studying a particular disease and I know that its incidence is 0.8 per 100000 children below the age of 18, how would I find the incidence of a whole bunch of other pediatric diseases (or ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between naive and adjusted p-values in a GWAS study?

What is the difference between a naive p-value and an adjusted p-value in the results of a GWAS study? See from this paper: After Bonferroni adjustment, a single gene, DCTN4 (encoding dynactin 4) ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

obesity risk and single gene polymorphisms

I read a fairly recent meta-analysis of studies into the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and found that "FTO may ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

Why doesn't yearly screening for lung cancer decrease mortality rates?

In a large trial, screening yearly for lung cancer hasn't reduced mortality rates. Why is this? Isn't cancer best treatable when caught early? Is this because lung cancer is hard to treat anyway, ...
5
votes
4answers
535 views

Could someone recommend an introductory book on epidemiology? [closed]

I'm hoping to learn the basics of epidemiological methods, terminology, etc. I come from a background in statistical economics, and I'm moving into the economics of public health. I don't know if ...
14
votes
3answers
830 views

What causes a 'stuffy' or 'runny' nose when you have a cold?

When humans get the common cold, a common symptom is a stuffy or runny nose. Is that the body's immune response or is that the virus's doing?
7
votes
2answers
27 views

What data / tools exist for mapping of disease trends?

I was just looking at the Google Flu Trends map. Google Insight could be used to gain similar information for other trends in disease keyword searches. I started wondering how valid are keyword ...
9
votes
1answer
117 views

Have there been any positive public health effects due to UV lights?

Occasionally, in hospitals and in eating establishments in the US, they have industrial grade UV lights in sconces attached to the wall (though they seem to be less prominent as the years go by). I ...
8
votes
1answer
57 views

Downloadable worldwide database of disease statistics?

I am looking for a downloadable database of disease statistics. I have emailed the good folks over at HealthMap, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. As far as I can tell, their data relevant to ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

How does the immune system “learn” from a vaccine?

According to Wikipedia: A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...
19
votes
2answers
101 views

How is duration of efficacy estimated for vaccines?

Vaccines, especially those given in adulthood, usually have term limits attached, eg: 10 years for yellow fever or 3 years for typhoid. Since presumably the time course of an immune response is no ...
14
votes
1answer
133 views

Are there animal models for Clostridium difficile that better replicate human infection than hamsters?

So I'm looking for some information on the infectious dose necessary to colonize a human with Clostridium difficile. There's no human challenge studies, and since it's not a foodborne pathogen, little ...