In simple terms, epidemiologists track diseases and health issues to find ways to reduce them.
More formally, epidemiology is “the study of the distribution and determinants of health related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to control of health problems (Last, 2000)."
In the Division of Disease Control, we count how many people are sick with diseases that healthcare providers are required to report to the Department of Public Health. We also count some non-reportable conditions, and keep track of vaccination rates in Philadelphia.
We conduct studies to find factors that might help us try to reduce the burden of these diseases. Often these studies are done with researchers from universities, non-profit agencies, or the Centers for Disease Control.
We work closely with the academic public health community in Philadelphia. We host students from all of the local schools and programs of public health for community-based learning experiences. Epidemiology staff teach courses at a number of the local schools and programs.
For data requests and more information, please call 215-685-6740 or email.