Confusing terms In community medicine


Control-Equilibrium between agent,host and environment.Different for different countries

Elimination- Interruption of all transmission from a geographical area.

eg:Measles and Polio eliminated from many western countries.

Eradication- Extermination of the infectious agent from the face of earth

eg:Small pox.

Tip:Getting eliminated from a competition means being thrown out of the competition.It doesn’t mean that he/she cannot participate in any other competition!


Impairment- Loss of anatomical,physiological or psychological structure or function

eg:Damage to eye

Disability- Inability to do something which others is capable of due to the impairment he/ she has

eg: Cannot see

Handicap- Social problem due to disability

eg: Jobloss due to the disability.

Generation time,serial interval

Generation time- the time interval between reciept of infection and maximum infectivity of the host.

Serial interval- Time interval between primary and secondary cases.

Tip: Generation time is the time needed to generate enough bacteria/virus to produce maximum infection,whereas serial interval is just like a TV serial, it goes on for ages like primary,secondary cases.

Index case- First detected case

Descriptive and analytical study

Descriptive study- For the formulation of a hypothesis

Analytical study- To confirm a hypothesis

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: