Epidemiology is the science which studies the modes of transmission of pathogenic agents, the causes of diseases, their impact on health, as well as the economical and the sociological consequences of outbreaks in populations.
These studies allow governments and medical authorities to implement preventive actions and to make appropriate decisions when an outbreak is declared. The end-game for epidemiologists and hygienists is to find ways of breaking at least one of the links in order to prevent or completely stop the spread of diseases.
Outbreaks are the result of a “three-link chain” like series of events called the “chain of transmission”.
The first link is represented by the “reservoir”, which is the source of the disease itself. The “reservoir” may or may not exhibit clinical symptoms.
The second link is the “vehicle”; it represents the means of transmission which may be a person, an animal or an inert object that allows the transmission of a pathogenic agent. The third link is the final host itself (susceptible person).
We all are part of this process and hand hygiene is recognised as being the best way of breaking all parts of the chain of transmission.
This is serious matter which requires that we all have a minimum of knowledge in the science of hygiene and, above all, that we have a certain sense of responsibility.
So, who will be the weakest link? Please challenge your knowledge by completing the following quiz.
I hope you enjoy it and look forward to your questions and comments below to help 'break the chain of transmission.
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