2.4 Data Models Used in Epidemiology

Typical Epidemic Curve

Disease experts must gather comprehensive data on any disease outbreak to understand it and use all resources towards its solution. One of these strategies includes using an epidemic curve.

An epidemic curse is an epidemiological model that displays the frequency of infections in a population over time, the onset of illness, and its fall, plotting the complete trajectory of the disease.

A typical epidemic curve presents itself in a bell shape where the disease’s onset goes towards its peak, where it plateaus, and then declines when there is a sharp decrease in the number of cases.

The SIR Compartmental Framework

Epidemiologists apply various mathematical models in their research on diseases. One such model is the SIR compartmental framework used for infectious diseases.

Using this model, the population is divided into different compartments labeled S, I, and R, corresponding to susceptible, infectious, or recovered. People can move in and out of these labels, and tracking these transitions adds to the model.

The SIR framework is used to predict the spread of disease and the trajectory, frequency, ratio, and duration of epidemics. It is essential to form public health policy and guiding interventions.

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