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.




Infectious diseases remain one of the biggest causes of death in humans and over 3 million children die every year from diseases that are preventable. Immunisation is described by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) as ‘the process of protecting individuals from infection through passive or active immunity’.

Active immunity occurs when the immune system produces antibodies against a specific antigen (a molecule which is recognised by the immune system and induces an immune response, e.g. a virus or bacterium) (Galazka, 1993). This can follow immunisation or natural disease and protection for the individual is usually lifelong. Passive immunity requires the administration of antibodies directly to the individual; protection from passive immunity is of short duration and immunisation is typically used to protect an individual from ...

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