Black Box Epidemiology Essay

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The evolution of epidemiology is exhibited in three eras, each with its own dominant paradigm. The sanitary statistics, during the greater part of the 19th century focus on miasma, which basically attributes to the environmental factors from the foul stench stemming from the soil, water and air. These elements were believed to have demonstrated the morbidity and mortality in the city slums of England, France, Germany, Scandinavia and even in the United States. The second era is revolved on infectious diseases towards the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. During this period, the germ theory has dominated the medical and the public health sciences field. They have developed isolation of certain disease process and employed laboratory experimentation and culture and successfully generated laboratory based diagnosis, immunization and treatment. From…show more content…
Although epidemiology has made some notable contributions to understanding the epidemic, black box epidemiology is ill equipped to address epidemic control. Analysis of mass data at the individual level of organization alone, as implied by the black box paradigm, does not allow us to weigh at which points in the hierarchy of levels of intervention are likely to be successful. In retrospect, our confidence during the Chronic Disease era about the control of infectious diseases seems naive and also blind to the less developed world. For the majority of the world's population, chronic infections-tuberculosis, syphilis, malaria, and many others-were never under control. Similarly, our confidence in our ability to control chronic non-communicable diseases themselves by modifying behavior that carries a risk has been shaken. Again, knowledge of risk factors and interventions directed solely at changing the behavior of individuals, even across several communities, has proven

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