Epidemiology & Population


Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to 
two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

· Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.

· Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.

· Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.

· Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

· Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.

· Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.


Serena Valino

                                                    Defining Transmission and Eradication Efforts

Small Pox- Airborne and spread by face-to-face contact with an infected person and to a lesser extent through contaminated items(Center for Global Development, n.d.). Eradication efforts included government mass vaccination and re-vaccination programs. Barriers were cold storage solutions for vaccines and the need to consistently produce large quantities of vaccines (Center for Global Development, n.d.)


Polio- Transmitted from person to person through the fecal-oral route(World Health Organization, n.d.-b). Eradication efforts include government vaccination programs(World Health Organization, n.d.-c). The barrier to eradication efforts is a lack of access to sanitation systems and poor hand hygiene (World Health Organization, n.d.-b).


Covid 19- The virus is spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, or breathe (World Health Organization, n.d.-a). Eradication efforts include wearing masks, social isolation( at least a 1 meter apart), good hand hygiene, and vaccination(World Health Organization, n.d.-a). The barrier to eradication efforts is resistance to vaccination(World Health Organization, n.d.-a).                                                        

                                                            Lessons Learned

            Collaboration between governments and vaccination programs was successful in eradicating smallpox and bringing down the number of cases of Polio across the world. Efforts to repeat the same methodology of eradication are currently being seen with COVID-19 as government officials are attempting to mass vaccinate and revaccinate citizens. One of the largest differences in the COVID-19 eradication efforts is the efforts with masking and social isolation. These differences could be attributed to the transmission mode of the disease which is fecal to oral for Polio and the lack of equipment/supplies for the smallpox outbreak in the 60’s where access to masking and the ability to work from home (computer access) wasn’t as prominent.

                                                   Addressing Health Problems at a Population Level

            Addressing infectious diseases at a population level has clear benefits in helping minimize the spread of the disease, healthcare costs, and the impact on long-term health consequences for those affected by the disease. By pooling resources, sharing information, and developing a plan to eradicate the disease, government-run vaccination programs have almost completely eradicated some of the most crippling diseases. As society continues to seek more healthcare information online, Public Health Departments and Government Health Programs must seek to find innovative ways to control misinformation citizens from obtaining vaccines or following guidance from public health officials. Innovate ways that should be explored are the creation and development of evidence-based digital policy action plans and repercussions for spreading non-evidenced health information that harms citizens and counteracts efforts to eradicate the spread of infectious diseases (Suarez-Lledo & Galvez, 2021).



Center for Global Development. (n.d.). 
Case 1: Eradicating smallpox

Note: This article provides an overview of the eradication of smallpoxLinks to an external site.

Suarez-Lledo, V., & Galvez, J. (2021). Prevalence of health misinformation on social media: Systematic review. 
Journal of Medical Internet Research

to an external site.

World Health Organization. (n.d.-a). 
Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19). Retrieved April 21, 2024, from 

to an external site.

World Health Organization. (n.d.-b). 
Poliomyelitis (polio). Retrieved April 21, 2024, from 

to an external site.

World Health Organization. (n.d.-c). 
Who we are. Polio Global Eradication Initiative. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from 

to an external site.



Olayemi Ikhile

Main Post

Epidemiologic differences among smallpox, polio, and COVID-19 include the mode of transmission, incubation period, and range of symptoms.

The variola virus causes smallpox and is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected individuals. Its incubation period is about 7–17 days, and symptoms include fever, rash, and lesions on the skin (Berche, 2022).

Polio, caused by the poliovirus, is mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, and has an incubation period of 7–14 days. Symptoms can range from mild flu-like symptoms and meningitis to paralysis (Walter & Malani, 2022). COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets, and has an average incubation period of 5–6 days. Symptoms can vary greatly, from mild respiratory issues to severe pneumonia and death (Alimohamadi et al., 2020).


Collaboration between public health agencies, healthcare providers, and the community is essential for effective disease control and prevention efforts (Yang, 2022)

The principles of epidemiology for COVID-19 include:

· Identifying the source of the virus.

· Tracking and isolating contacts of infected individuals.

· Implementing public health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing to prevent further spread.

Understanding the transmission pattern also involves studying the demographics of those most affected by the virus, including age, gender, and underlying health conditions. By analyzing these factors, public health officials can better tailor interventions and resources to protect vulnerable populations and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. In addition, high vaccination rates help control the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations. Individuals must stay informed about the latest guidelines and recommendations from health authorities to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on communities and healthcare systems (Su et al., 2022)


Lessons learned from the use of epidemiology in education from smallpox and polio that could be applied to COVID-19

The radical vaccination for smallpox was a significant milestone in the history of public health, showing the power of epidemiological strategies in eradicating this deadly disease. Similarly, the global effort to eliminate polio through vaccination campaigns demonstrates the effectiveness of using epidemiology to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Drawing on these past successes, we can apply similar approaches to combat COVID-19 and ultimately end the pandemic. The other lesson is that using public health and social measures (PHSMs), such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and promoting hand hygiene, has also proven effective in reducing the transmission of infectious diseases. By combining the power of vaccination with implementing PHSMs, we can create a comprehensive strategy to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health (Wilson et al., 2021).


The benefits of addressing COVID-19 at the population level

Addressing COVID-19 at the population level is more effective as it helps to create herd immunity by reaching a critical mass of vaccinated individuals and implementing PHSMs across the population. Also, addressing COVID-19 at the population level helps to alleviate morbidity and mortality rates associated with the disease. Also, we can minimize the risk of new variants emerging and prevent the virus from spreading further. Also, the chances of total eradication are higher when COVID-19 is addressed at the population level. This approach also allows for a more coordinated and comprehensive response to the pandemic, as resources and efforts can be distributed more efficiently across the entire population. Additionally, by addressing COVID-19 at the population level, we can protect the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Overall, taking a population-level approach to addressing COVID-19 is essential in controlling the spread of the virus and ultimately ending the pandemic.


The evolving nature of COVID-19 makes it challenging for healthcare systems and governments to keep up with the constantly changing landscape of the pandemic. However, by implementing strategies focusing on the population, we can adapt and respond more effectively to new developments and emerging threats.



Alimohamadi, Y., Sepandi, M., Taghdir, M., & Hosamirudsari, H. (2020, September 1). 
Determine the most common clinical symptoms in COVID-19 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PubMed. 

to an external site.

Berche, P. (2022, September). Life and death of smallpox. 
La Presse Médicale
51(3), 104117. 

to an external site.

Su, Z., Cheshmehzangi, A., McDonnell, D., Ahmad, J., Šegalo, S., Xiang, Y. T., & da Veiga, C. P. (2022, July 19). The Advantages of the Zero-COVID-19 Strategy. 
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
19(14), 8767. 

to an external site.

Walter, K., & Malani, P. N. (2022, October 25). What Is Polio? 
328(16), 1652. 

to an external site.

Wilson, N., Mansoor, O. D., Boyd, M. J., Kvalsvig, A., & Baker, M. G. (2021, August). We should not dismiss the possibility of eradicating COVID-19: comparisons with smallpox and polio. 
BMJ Global Health
6(8), e006810. 

to an external site.

Yang, F. (2022, May 9). 
Smallpox, Big Achievement: Lessons from Disease Eradication. Yale School of Public Health. 

to an external site.

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