Netherlands, Utrecht

Introduction to Epidemiology

when 16 January 2017 - 19 January 2017
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 395

The outbreak of Ebola in Africa shows in a dramatic manner how a disease can spread in a population, how difficult it is to control such an outbreak, and how the public and political response impact the measures that are taken. Another viral disease, measles, still kills 200 000 children every year. Measles can be prevented by vaccination, but when vaccination is refused by certain groups in the society, the disease can break out and cause small epidemics. These two examples highlight the importance of epidemiology, the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiology does not solely deal with infectious diseases; environmental pollutants, radiation, toxic substances, food components, all can have an impact on human health and therefore fall within the realm of epidemiology. Major areas of epidemiological study thus include disease etiology, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance and screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. Epidemiologists rely on other disciplines such as biology (to better understand disease processes), statistics (for appropriate use of data and draw appropriate conclusions), the social sciences (to understand proximate and distal causes) as well as other disciplines. This Summer Course will give a short introduction to the various aspects of epidemiology. These include respiratory diseases and infectious diseases but also pollutants and statistics. It involves in-class experiments, literature research and presentations as well as regular lectures and guest-lectures.

Course leader

Prof. Ger Rijkers, UCR.

Target group

Advanced bachelors and start master students. Anyone interested in learning more about epidemiology.
No pre-requisites.

Course aim

1. The students will have become acquainted with the basic principles of epidemiology which are needed for setting up, carry out, analyze and interpret clinical scientific research.
2. The student is able to apply epidemiological principles in measurements of risk, displaying public health data, and public health surveillance.
3. The student knows which steps to take in investigating an outbreak.

Credits info

2 EC
Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 395: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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