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It is the cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection, and statistical analysis of data, amend interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review and occasional systematic review). Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies, and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences. Major areas of epidemiological study include disease causation, transmission, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, environmental epidemiology, forensic epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. Epidemiologists rely on other scientific disciplines like biology to better understand disease processes, statistics to make efficient use of the data and draw appropriate conclusions, social sciences to better understand proximate and distal causes, and engineering for exposure assessment. EpidemiologyEpidemiology, literally meaning 'the study of what is upon the people', is derived from Greek epi, meaning 'upon, among', demos, meaning 'people, district', and logos, meaning 'study, word, discourse', suggesting that it applies only to human populations. However, the term is widely used in studies of zoological populations (veterinary epidemiology), although the term 'epizoology' is available, and it has also been applied to studies of plant populations (botanical or plant disease epidemiology). The distinction between 'epidemic' and 'endemic' was first drawn by Hippocrates, to distinguish between diseases that are 'visited upon' a population (epidemic) from those that 'reside within' a population (endemic). The term 'epidemiology' appears to have first been used to describe the study of epidemics in 1802 by the Spanish physician Villalba in Epidemiología Española. Epidemiologists also study the interaction of diseases in a population, a condition known as a syndemic. The term epidemiology is now widely applied to cover the description and causation of not only epidemic disease, but of disease in general, and even many non-disease, health-related conditions, such as high blood pressure and obesity. Therefore, this epidemiology is based upon how the pattern of the disease causes change in the function of everyone. The Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, sought a logic to sickness; he is the first person known to have examined the relationships between the occurrence of disease and environmental influences. Hippocrates believed sickness of the human body to be caused by an imbalance of the four humors (air, fire, water and earth 'atoms'). The cure to the sickness was to remove or add the humor in question to balance the body. This belief led to the application of bloodletting and dieting in medicine. He coined the terms endemic (for diseases usually found in some places but not in others) and epidemic (for diseases that are seen at some times but not others). In the middle of the 16th century, a doctor from Verona named Girolamo Fracastoro was the first to propose a theory that these very small, unseeable, particles that cause disease were alive. They were considered to be able to spread by air, multiply by themselves and to be destroyable by fire. In this way he refuted Galen's miasma theory (poison gas in sick people). In 1543 he wrote a book De contagione et contagiosis morbis, in which he was the first to promote personal and environmental hygiene to prevent disease. The development of a sufficiently powerful microscope by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1675 provided visual evidence of living particles consistent with a germ theory of disease. During the Ming Dynasty, Wu Youke (1582–1652) developed the idea that some diseases were caused by transmissible agents, which he called Li Qi (戾气 or pestilential factors) when he observed various epidermics raged around him between 1641 and 1644. His book Wen Yi Lun (瘟疫论,Treatise on Pestilence/Treatise of Epidemic Diseases) can be regarded as the main etiological work that brought forward the concept. His concepts are still being considered in analysing SARS outbreak by WHO in 2004 in the context of traditional Chinese medicine.

[ "Pathology", "Diabetes mellitus", "Surgery", "Immunology", "Internal medicine", "Parasitic gastroenteritis", "National Influenza Centers", "pediatric research", "Spatial epidemiology", "Endemic diseases" ]
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