Disease Detectives

Jolyon Jenkins investigates how epidemiologists go about linking illness, disability and death to particular behaviours, such as chemical exposure or smoking.

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Episodes

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20060208

Profile of the work of the epidemiologist, the disease detective, who uses deductive and diagnostic skills to identify, as well as contain, outbreaks of infectious disease.
The rapid-response detection of disease epidemics is exhilarating, fascinating and often dangerous work. The stakes are high. Killer diseases have no respect for national or political borders, and in a increasingly mobile and globalised world the rapid spread of outbreaks is easier than it has ever been. Vivienne Parry investigates.

20060215

2/2. Profile of the work of the epidemiologist, the disease detective, who uses deductive and diagnostic skills to identify, as well as contain, outbreaks of infectious disease.
The rapid-response detection of disease epidemics is exhilarating, fascinating and often dangerous work. The stakes are high. Killer diseases have no respect for national or political borders, and in an increasingly mobile and globalised world the rapid spread of outbreaks is easier than it has ever been.
Vivienne Parry investigates.

01The Broad Street Pump20010124

In 1854, a local doctor mapped cases of cholera during a London outbreak, and found them clustered around Broad Street.

0220010131

Sir Richard Doll is widely acknowledged as the greatest epidemiologist of the 20th century, thanks to his discovery of the link between smoking and lung cancer. But epidemiology's greatest triumph is also its Achilles heel.

0320010207
0420010214

He looks at the difficult relationship between epidemiologists and communities, public authorities and governments as they look for evidence of increased risk around, for instance, factories. Findings are often contradictory or conflict with other studies.

05 LASTStatistically Significant20010221

Jolyon Jenkins concludes his series on epidemiology by looking at statistics and their relevance to everyday life. What does it mean if something is `statistically significant' and what does a 17th-century vicar have to say on the subject?