The Emergence of Public Health

Posted by auntminniecme on March 4th, 2019

With the infinitely customizable news available today, you can choose the topics that interest you and never have to see a boring story again. Reporters and journalists also become more and more specialized with the general news reporter almost a thing of the past. The fashion beat, royal celebrity beat, ecology beat, and the health beat are all places where a journalist could spend their whole career.

Of these, the one with the most popular draw is the health beat. It seems people can't get enough of the latest superfood trend or radiology news. People want to know not only how to take care of their own health, but they also feel compelled to know about the health of their entire community.

Public Health Emerges

Public health is defined as: "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." A person's fascination with the health of the community is not gossip-mongering, it is actually an outgrowth of the rise of public health as a discipline for serious study.

It Starts with Statistics

The discipline of public health is built on data and statistics. The field of medical statistics emerged around the mid-1800s in Europe and later travelled to America. Physicians became interested in tracking disease, crime, poverty and other societal ills that grew from the industrial revolution. The new statisticians developed ways to organize data and make recommendations that would benefit large swaths of the populations.

And Leads to Discoveries

Data from the emerging field of medical statistics was used to identify the source of a cholera outbreak in London. The data proved that the water supply was the source and convinced local officials to make much-needed sanitary improvements. In addition, statistical data could uncover how and where diseases spread and lead to effective vaccination programs.

But There Is Always the Lab

By the late 1800s, bacteriology labs sprouted all over the country. The emerging need for data and analysis created, among other things, the field of bacteriology. The labs could analyze cultures of possible diseases taken by researchers in the field. In addition, the labs could test the local food supply to identify sources of food-borne illness.

The health of the entire community is interesting to many people because it directly affects many people. From the smallest bacteria, to technology and radiology news, people will always be interested in health-related news and information.

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Joined: February 25th, 2019
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