Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks

Saving Humanity from the Next Plague, 1st Edition

By Steven E Rigdon, Ronald D. Fricker, Jr.

Chapman and Hall/CRC

204 pages | 55 Color Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138742345
pub: 2020-02-14
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 14th February 2020
Hardback: 9780367242831
pub: 2020-02-14
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 14th February 2020

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Today the citizens of developed counties have never experienced a large-scale disease outbreak.

One reason is the success of the public health community, including epidemiologists and biostatisticians, in tracking and identifying disease outbreaks. Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague is the story of the application of statistics for disease detection and tracking. The work of public health officials often critically depends on the use of statistical methods to help discern whether an outbreak may be occurring and, if there is sufficient evidence of an outbreak, then to locate and track it. Statisticians also help design surveys and experiments to collect critical information, and they analyze the resulting data to help investigators zero in on a cause for a disease.


· Discusses the crucial roles of statistics in early disease detection.

· Outlines the concepts and methods of disease surveillance.

· Covers surveillance techniques for communicable diseases like Zika and chronic diseases such as cancer.

· Gives real world examples of disease investigations including smallpox, syphilis, anthrax, yellow fever, and microcephaly (and its relationship to the Zika virus).

This book tells the story of how medical and public health professionals use statistics to separate critical disease information from all the noise of our modern world so that they can most effectively intervene and mitigate the effects of disease. Through the process of identifying an outbreak, finding its cause, and developing a plan to prevent its reoccurrence, statisticians and epidemiologists help improve public health across the world.

Table of Contents

The Next Plague

Separating Signal from Noise

Types of Public Health Surveillance

Traditional Surveillance

Syndromic Surveillance

Indirect Approaches

Steps in Investigating an Outbreak

The Nipah Virus

Smallpox and the Aralsk Incident

Syphilis and the Internet

The 2001 Anthrax Attack

Cancer in Los Alamos

Discovering the Cause of Yellow Fever

Microcephaly and Zika

In Conclusion

About the Authors

Dr. Steven E. Rigdon is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the College for Public Health & Social Justice at Saint Louis University. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Statistics from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as an M.A. and B.A. in Mathematics, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is also Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and
Statistics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Author of several books, including Statistical Methods for the Reliability of Repairable Systems published by John Wiley & Sons, and Calculus, 8th Ed. published by Pearson, Dr. Rigdon has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and a member of the International Society for Disease Surveillance. He is also editor of Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. In his spare time, Dr. Rigdon plays the french horn and trumpet and he is an ice hockey official.

Dr. Roland D. Fricker, Jr. is the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration in the Virginia Tech College of Science. He is also a professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics and is a past head of the department. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Statistics from Yale University, an M.S. in Operations Research from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy. Author
of Introduction to Statistical Methods for Biosurveillance published by Cambridge University Press and nearly 100 papers, monographs, reports,
and articles, Dr. Fricker is Fellow of the American Statistical Association and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. He is a former chair of the Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security and a former chair of the Committee on Statisticians in Defense and National Security, both of the ASA.

About the Series

ASA-CRC Series on Statistical Reasoning in Science and Society

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems