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An attempt is made to give a satisfactory answer to the question of whether an outbreak of disease is caused by the work that the affected people do or have done. Epidemiological criteria are given, first, to establish the existence of a health problem, which happens when a higher than expected occurrence of a health disorder in a certain group is documented. Secondly, an attempt is made to elucidate the nature of the health problem, by examining the working background of those affected and by establishing whether there are circumstances common to the group. A definition of the affected group is given and some criteria adopted to isolate possible causes of the outbreak. The follow-up of the problem is made by pairing it with a control group. An action plan is put forward which recommends a rigorous approach involving data collection, follow-up, control and statistical analysis. Pre-established objectives and a preventative strategy also form part of the action plan. A number of practical cases are used to illustrate the recommended method. A glossary of epidemiological terms is also included.

Additional information

Authors: MERLETTI F, European Commission, Bruxelles (BE);OLSEN J, European Commission, Bruxelles (BE);VUYLSTEEK K, European Commission, Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 11641 ES (1990) 96 pp.
Availability: SG Editores, S.A., via Augusta, 128-132, despacho 19, 08006 Barcelona (ES)
ISBN: ISBN 84-87621-00-7
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