National University Surveillance Measures in Epidemiology Paper

Discussion 1

Epidemiology has a variety of sub-disciplines. Each of these sub-disciplines has different measures they use to determine the severity or communicability of various diseases. The two classic measures are incidence and prevalence. However, there are other measures of disease measurement, which can include:



Cumulative Incidence

Incidence Density

Incidence Rate


Period Prevalence

Point Prevalence


Case Fatality Rate 

Proportionate Mortality Rate

Age Specific Death Rate

Age-Adjusted Rate

Direct Age Adjustment

Indirect Age Adjustment

Years of Potential Life Lost

Outbreak Specific Calculations

R0 (R naught or Reproductive Ratio)

Attack Rate (usually used for foodborne pathogens)

Secondary Attack Rate (used for any communicable disease to describe the percentage of secondary cases)


In this discussion, you will select a disease with which you are interested. You will need to search the Morbidity and Mortality Week Report, Emerging Infectious Disease Journal, Preventing Chronic Diseases Journal, Your response should range from 300 – 500 words and discuss the disease you selected and at least two measures from the Morbidity and Mortality section of this prompt. In your discussion, you should explain why that measure is used and what some of the limitations of that measure is regarding your disease. 

Discussion 2

There are two types of surveillance for diseases of interest, which are active and passive. The disease you selected from the Week 1 Discussion 1 thread is the disease you need to research for this project. Answer the following questions:

1. Does the disease I selected have active or passive surveillance systems in place and why?

2. What are the limitations of these surveillance systems?

3. What is the case definition for this disease? How might changing the case definition impact surveillance?