How the COVID-19 pandemic impacted global trust in government

In a week when the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted to breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules, a new study has found that impartial, transparent and truthful government communications are fundamental for achieving and ...

Reducing air pollution: Policies that pay off

Reducing fine particle mortality in a conurbation by two-thirds could be achieved at a cost that is much lower than the value of the societal and economic benefits obtained, according to a study by a multidisciplinary team ...

Health impacts of air pollution from Australian megafires

From October 2019 to February 2020, fire ripped through the Australian bush with unprecedented intensity, killing 34 people and more than 3 billion animals. In a new study, Graham et al. seek to quantify the health impacts ...

Estimating the strength of selection for new COVID-19 variants

As the discovery of the new omicron variant illustrates, new COVID-19 variants will continue to regularly emerge. In an effort to make sense of these new variants, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed ...

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Public health

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." (1920, C.E.A. Winslow)[citation needed] It is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic). Public health is typically divided into epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Environmental, social, behavioral, and occupational health are also important subfields.

There are 2 distinct characteristics of public health:

1. It deals with preventive rather than curative aspects of health 2. It deals with population-level, rather than individual-level health issues

The focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease. Hand washing, vaccination programs and distribution of condoms are examples of public health measures.

The goal of public health is to improve lives through the prevention and treatment of disease. The United Nations' World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

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