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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

module:Geography of health

Patterns of disease

page:Conclusion

This tutorial has looked at the links between geography and epidemiology. In particular, it has explored the factors influencing the timing and spread of infectious diseases.


A ‘plague doctor’. picture zoom © Wellcome Library, London

While the epidemiologist looks to provide details of the progress of a disease in a certain area, a geographer attempts to identify the factors influencing this pattern. These include human and physical aspects, such as population and climate.

In order to make comparisons between different situations, geography uses models to simplify reality. By isolating a few important factors, a model can enhance the understanding of rates of infection and of the progress of epidemics.

Prediction, a vital aspect of planning our defences against diseases such as influenza or measles, is thus made easier.

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A ‘plague doctor’.
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