Summary of Study Session 42
In Study Session 42, you have learned that:
- An epidemic is the occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in the population at that period of time. An outbreak is an increase in cases for a short time in a limited area.
- A common source outbreak is an epidemic which arises from a single source of infection, and where most people fall ill after the same incubation period.
- A propagated epidemic occurs when the infection spreads from one person to another, e.g. through the air, via a vector, via contaminated food or water, or during unprotected sexual intercourse.
- A mixed epidemic can start with a common source and be followed by a propagated spread.
- An epidemic investigation is conducted to rapidly identify the cause of an outbreak or epidemic and to take effective actions to contain and prevent the spread of the disease.
- Epidemic investigation and management involves team work. Your role as a Health Extension Practitioner is to report the occurrence of an epidemic, to mobilise and educate the community, and to assist the District Health authorities in carrying out control and prevention measures as required.