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Introduction to Epidemiology

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Epidemiology is the “study of distribution and determinants of health-related sates among specified populations and the application of that study to the control of health problems.” — A Dictionary of Epidemiology

This introductory epidemiology course provides an overview of epidemiology investigations, methods, and data collection.

Course Topics

  • Key concepts and terms
  • Calculating rates
  • Approach and methodology
  • Data sources and study design

Supplemental Materials

Available Materials

Slide Presentation

Cover slide for Introduction to Epidemiology presentation These slide sets are in the public domain and may be downloaded and customized as needed by the user for informational or educational purposes. Permission from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not required, but citation of the source is appreciated.

Suggested Citation:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Introduction to Public Health. In: Public Health 101 Series. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014. Available at:

E-learning Course

Introduction to Epidemiology e-learning graphic Those interested in an interactive experience can take this e-learning course covering the material contained in the slides.

Quick Learn Lessons

Quick-Learn Lessons take 20 minutes or less to complete. Lessons are also accessible from mobile devices.

A Brief Introduction to Data Cleaning (15:00)
Learn to identify the common errors in data reporting and describe the importance of maintaining accurate data throughout the data collection process.

Create an Epi Curve (10:00)
Learn how to create a visual display of the onset of illness among cases associated with an outbreak.

Using an Epi Curve to Determine Mode of Spread (10:00)
Learn how to determine the outbreak’s likely mode of spread by analyzing an epidemic curve.

Using an Epi Curve to Determine Most Likely Period of Exposure (10:00)
Learn how to interpret an epidemic curve and determine the likely period of exposure that led to the outbreak.