Epidemiology is the basic science behind public health. It can be broadly defined as the study of the health status of populations and the application of this study to the control of health problems. Epidemiologists study the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases in a community.
Most diseases do not occur randomly in groups of people. They occur as the result of the combined effect of risk factors, which could be social, environmental, behavioral, genetic, individual, etc. Epidemiologists study the patterns of disease occurrence in populations and attempt to control the factors that put people at risk.
The epidemiology division has essential partners in the private health care sector, area schools, and the WV Bureau for Public Health. With these partners, the epidemiology division will continue to meet the following objectives:
- Continue surveillance activities of infectious diseases couples with effective preventive strategies
- Continue to monitor and study public health issues in our community, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, alcohol and tobacco use, and environmental exposures.
- To be prepared to respond to emergent events that threaten the health and safety of our citizens
More information on epidemiological issues for health care providers can be found here.
More information on epidemiological issues for the public can be found here.