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Public health approaches to infectious disease
Public health approaches to infectious disease

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3 Levels of infectious disease prevention

The prevention of disease obviously has a potentially greater impact on public health than medical treatment, although – with the exception of vaccination programmes – infectious disease prevention has always been far less well funded or researched.

This section examines a hierarchy of public health interventions, which are traditionally considered to operate at three different ‘levels of prevention’. Although you should be aware that there is some artificiality in separating them in this way, they provide a useful framework to illustrate the diversity of public health strategies for preventing infectious disease.