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Discussion    ERADICATION OF SMALLPOX, POLIO, AND COVID-19 Epidemiology WEEK 9: AT A

Discussion

  

ERADICATION OF SMALLPOX, POLIO, AND COVID-19


Epidemiology

WEEK 9: AT A GLANCE

 INFECTIOUS DISEASE FROM AN EPIDEMIOLOGIC PERSPECTIVE

INTRODUCTION

The scope of epidemiology has broadened over the years to include the global investigation of chronic, environmental, and genetic diseases and other health-related conditions. Yet, the practice of epidemiology has its roots in the study of infectious disease, global epidemics, and pandemics. Perhaps you recall the widely reported concerns about the H1N1 virus, Ebola, or the reemergence of measles, tuberculosis, or whooping cough. And of course, at least seven coronaviruses have sickened humans in the past two decades, the most notable of which being SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. The emergence and reemergence of infectious disease has long held the attention of epidemiologists, as well as the general public.

This week, you will examine two of the great success stories of the application of epidemiology to improve population health related to infectious disease: the eradications of smallpox and polio. You use these historic examples to explore the COVID-19 pandemic. Through comparison of the three, you will consider how lessons learned from smallpox and polio could be applied to COVID-19 and the benefits of addressing this health issue at the population rather than individual level. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students will:

· Apply principles of epidemiology to the assessment and control of infectious diseases

· Evaluate benefits of addressing health issues at the population level versus individual level 

This is a graded discussion: 100 points possible

DUE APRIL 22

Week 9: Discussion

No unread replies.No replies.


Back to Week at a Glance

ERADICATION OF SMALLPOX, POLIO, AND COVID-19

Some of the most notable epidemics include the bubonic plague in the 14th century, smallpox in the 18th century, influenza in the 20th century, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the 21st century. It is estimated that the bubonic plague caused 25 million deaths in Europe in the 14th century alone, and up to 200 million total deaths across centuries (Glatter & Finkelman, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic spread at an unprecedented pace due to globalization and the mobility of society, killing millions worldwide. These are dramatic examples of the kinds of acute outbreaks that make epidemiology such an important field of study.

At the beginning of the 21st century, many epidemiologists and healthcare professionals were concerned about the next potential pandemic or epidemic—and then it arrived in early 2020. Globalization means that when these infectious outbreaks occur, they can spread quickly, but we also have more knowledge and better tools (e.g., vaccine technology) to fight them. For this Discussion, you will compare lessons learned from two successful eradication efforts, that of smallpox and polio, and consider how they may be applied to COVID-19.

Reference

Glatter, K. A., & Finkelman, P. (2021). History of the plague: An ancient pandemic for the age of COVID-19. 
American Journal of Medicine, 134(2), 176–181.

RESOURCES

Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources. 



WEEKLY RESOURCES

LEARNING RESOURCES


Required Readings

· Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2021). 
Epidemiology for public health practice (6th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

· Chapter 12, “Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

· Center for Global Development. (n.d.). 


Case 1: Eradicating smallpox

 Download Case 1: Eradicating smallpox
.

Note:
 This article provides an overview of the eradication of smallpox.

· Wilson, N., Mansoor, O. D., Boyd, M. J., Kvalsvig, A., & Baker, M. G. (2021). 

We should not dismiss the possibility of eradicating COVID-19: Comparisons with smallpox and polioLinks to an external site.

BMJ Global Health, (8), e006810

· World Health Organization. (n.d.).

PoliomyelitisLinks to an external site.

 (polio).

Note:
 This page provides an overview of the eradication of polio, as well as symptoms and treatment.


Required Media

· The Impact of COVID-19 on Epidemiology 
Time Estimate: 3 minutes

· Walden University, LLC. (2021).

Infectious disease basicsLinks to an external site.
 [Interactive media]. Walden University Blackboard.


Optional Resources

· Polio Global Eradication Initiative. (n.d.). 

GPEI strategy 2022–2026.Links to an external site.

 

 

TO PREPARE:

· Review the Learning Resources, focusing on the smallpox and polio epidemics and how health organizations applied principles of epidemiology to eradicate (or in the case of polio, nearly eradicate) these diseases.

· In light of these examples, consider the benefits of addressing smallpox and polio at the population level. What were the population health strategies that were used in the efforts to eradicate smallpox and polio?

· Consider similarities and differences from an epidemiologic perspective among the smallpox and polio epidemics and that of COVID-19.

· Think about how principles of epidemiology are being applied—or could be applied—to address COVID-19.

· What lessons from the use of infectious disease epidemiology in the past might be applicable to controlling COVID 19?

· What are the benefits of addressing this issue at the population level as opposed to the individual level?

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

· Briefly summarize the epidemiologic differences among the three diseases and how principles of epidemiology are being applied—or could be applied—to address COVID-19.

· Are there any lessons learned from the use of epidemiology in the eradication of smallpox and polio that could be applied to COVID-19?

· Evaluate the benefits of addressing this health problem at the population level versus the individual level. Support your Discussion with information from this week’s Learning Resources and articles you have located in the Walden Library.

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