Who are epidemiologists?
Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate causes of disease, identify people who are at risk, determine how to control or stop the spread, or prevent it from happening again.
Epidemiologists have varied professional backgrounds in public health or health care (e.g., physicians, veterinarians, nurses, or others).
What do epidemiologists do?
Like investigators at the scene of a crime, disease detectives begin by looking for clues. They systematically gather information, asking questions such as:
- Who is sick?
- What are their symptoms?
- When did they get sick?
- Where could they have been exposed?
Using statistical analysis, epidemiologists study answers to these questions to find out how a particular health problem was introduced.
Disease detectives use what they learn during the investigation and make recommendations to control the spread or prevent a future occurrence.
Learn more about CDC's disease detectives in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS).
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