Key Concepts in Public Health identifies fifty key concepts used across the discipline of public health in order to give the reader a broad perspective of the core topics relevant to training and practice. From epidemiology to health promotion, and ethics to leadership, the book offers an exciting guide to the multiprofessional field. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a broader discussion addressing the main issues and links to practice, key points relevant to the entry, case studies to illustrate the application to practice, and examples of further reading.

Health Protection

Health protection
Nicholas FultonPhin


Within the United Kingdom, there is no clear consensus on the definition of health protection. The Faculty of Public Health, in describing public health practice, identifies three overlapping domains:

  • health improvement/promotion;
  • improving health services;
  • health protection.

The five topics included in the health protection domain are listed as:

  • infectious diseases;
  • chemicals and poisons;
  • radiation;
  • emergency response;
  • environmental health hazards.

This chapter uses a definition of health protection adapted from Getting Ahead of the Curve: A Strategy for Combating Infectious Diseases (DH, 2002), in which the establishment of the Health Protection Agency was proposed. In this document, the Chief Medical Officer for England acknowledged that infectious diseases are only one of the threats to human health and that there are other threats from the physical environment such as chemical and radiation incidents. ...

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