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Essentials of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Author(s): Manya Magnus, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Washington D.C.
  • ISBN-13: 9780763734442
  • ISBN-10:0763734446
  • Paperback    227 pages      © 2008
Price: $116.95 US List
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Instructor Resources: Instructor's Manual, PowerPoints, TestBank, Sample Syllabus

Infectious disease epidemiology is one of the most exciting applications of epidemiologic methodology, yet obtaining the requisite tools to engage in the field can be difficult. Essentials of Infectious Disease Epidemiology makes critical concepts intuitive and readily understandable. This book offers an introduction to the material that can be used as a foundation for more advanced epidemiology or infectious disease texts, or concurrently.


  • Simplifies complex methodological ideas in easy-to-read, engaging narrative with minimum jargon.
  • Illustrates the application of the methods using examples from real-life research and infectious disease study.
  • Includes a section of evaluation studies in infectious disease epidemiology.
  • Chapters are loaded with learning aids such as objectives, discussion questions, boxes, and graphics.

Available as a bundle with the new companion text Essential Readings in Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

Looking for more real-life evidence? Check out Cases 1, 2, 19, & 21 in Essential Case Studies in Public Health, Putting Public Health into Practice.

Each chapter begins with Learning Objectives and ends with Discussion Questions and References Cited.


Chapter 1, Why learn methods in infectious disease epidemiology?
Why is infectious disease epidemiology different from other applications of epidemiology?
How to use this book

Chapter 2, Why study methods?
Why methods matter
Measuring outcomes

Chapter 3, Descriptive infectious disease epidemiology
Why methods matter
Describing data
Specific methods
Taking public health action

Chapter 4, Outbreak investigations
Outbreak investigation background—descriptive epidemiology with a specific purpose
Steps in an outbreak investigation
Epidemic curves and data collection

Chapter 5, Rates and measures
Standardization for infectious disease epidemiology
Uses for absolute counts, proportions, rates, and ratios
Incidence measures
Prevalence measures
Other infectious disease measures

Chapter 6, Laying the foundation: how to conduct a study
Research questions and hypotheses—structuring your study

Chapter 7, Experimental designs as a foundation for observational studies
Experimental designs in broad strokes
The drug approval process in the United States
How to conduct a randomized controlled trial
Strengths and limitations

Chapter 8, From the experimental to the cohort study
From the experimental to the cohort study
Cohort studies in infectious disease research
How to conduct a cohort study
Strengths and limitations

Chapter 9, Case-control and cross-sectional studies
From the cohort study to the case-control study, and beyond
How to conduct a case-control study
Strengths and limitations
Cross-sectional studies
How to conduct a cross-sectional study
Strengths and limitations

Chapter 10, Interpretation of epidemiologic data
Meet the 2x2 table
The relative risk.
The odds ratio
The prevalence ratio
The prevalence odds ratio

Chapter 11, Threats to internal and external validity of concern in the study of infectious disease epidemiology
From ideal study structure to practical realities: real issues in study implementation
Essential information biases
Essential selection biases
Means of reducing or eliminating information bias:
Missing information


Chapter 12, Surveillance of infectious diseases
Methods in practice
Introduction to infectious disease surveillance
What makes a good surveillance system?
Benefits of surveillance activities.
Bias in surveillance.
Changing case definitions

Chapter 13, Program evaluation in the infectious disease setting
Differences between research and evaluation
Similarities of research and evaluation
Types of evaluation
Developing evaluation studies
Evaluation Frameworks
Thinking through evaluation in the infectious disease setting

Appendix A: Resources



Manya Magnus, PhD, MPH-Associate Professor, The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Washington D.C.

Manya Magnus, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health.

  • “…bridges the gap between teaching epidemiological methods and practicing infectious disease epidemiology. The author explains key epidemiologic methods such as study design, interpretation of data, and assessment of validity and provides practical examples of how these methods are specifically applied to infectious disease epidemiology. Illustrative graphics and helpful tables summarize written information. Thought-provoking discussion questions move beyond a simple reiteration of facts and allow an opportunity for the application of learned concepts to real-world situations.”

    Margaret L Chorazy, MPH
    University of Iowa College of Public Health
    (for Doody’s Book Review Service, December 2007)


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PowerPoints, Instructor's Manual, TestBank, Sample Syllabus


Detailed, chapter-by-chapter PowerPoint slides, Instructor's Manual, TestBank, and Sample Syllabus are available for qualified instructors.


Click here to request access to download. 

The following instructor resources are available to qualified instructors for download

ISBN-13: 9780763734442

Instructor Manual
Slides in PowerPoint Format
Test Bank

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