HP 4200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Ignaz Semmelweis, Scurvy, Cholera

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Published on 18 Aug 2016
Principals of Epidemiology
Dr. Erin D. Bouldin & Dr. Mary Sheryl Horine
HP 4200-101
August 18, 2016
History of Epidemiology Lecture 2
1) Learning Objectives:
a) How the theories of diseases have developed over time and how
biostatistics and theory both aided in the development of epidemiology.
b) Know a brief history with the key people and events that developed
2) Observation and Health
a) The earliest recorded societies noticed a relationship between their food
and environments (various exposures)
i. Early forms of epidemiology steamed from environmental sciences.
b) Since then epidemiology has become more specialized and specific with
measuring the association between environment/culture and the science of
3) Contributions:
a) Greek: specifically with environmental and behavioral factors associated
with disease
i. Also gave accurate descriptions of disease
ii. Moved away from supernatural reasons for disease (The gods are
punishing) and more towards scientific reasoning.
b) Egyptian: Provided more details on surgery and how to treat diseases
i. Also included the importance of sanitation and both personal and
public cleanliness.
ii. Realized that diet was also a factor
iii. Invented mosquito nets
c) Roman: Further promoted what the Greeks were practicing and
established a health care system for the public
i. The focus of the health system was on the prevention of disease
ii. Built cities near clean water
*Drained swamps to get rid of mosquitos
iii. Also contributed to changes in lifestyle
* installed toilets, sewer system, clean water and promoted
physical activity
4) Middle Ages
a) Mass interest in identifying causes of diseases
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