This chapter has covered the following points:
What is veterinary epidemiology?
Veterinary epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants
of animal health-, welfare- and production- related states or events
in specified populations and the application of this study to control
of health problems.
How do we describe an animal health-related event in a population?
The key elements are to describe the animal health-related event
in terms of its distribution in time, place and animal.
Exposures and outcomes
An exposure is a risk factor for the outcome that we are
investigating, which may or may not be the cause of the outcome.
The outcome is the disease, or event, or animal health-related
state, that we are interested in.
Descriptive and analytical epidemiology
In descriptive epidemiology, we describe the distribution
of an exposure or outcome, without seeking to explain the distribution
by looking for associations.
In analytical epidemiology, we examine associations, often
with the aim of identifying possible causes for an outcome.
Observational and interventional epidemiology
In observational epidemiology we examine the distribution
or determinants of an outcome without any attempt to influence them.
In interventional epidemiology we test a hypothesis by modifying
an exposure within the study population and examining the effect
on the outcome.