Communicable Disease / Epidemiology

Gail McCurdy, RN, Epidemiologist, Shelby County

Amanda Barrick, RN, Communicable Disease Nurse


Epidemiology is the central science of public health. As such, epidemiology provides the scientific input that shapes public health policy, program directions, and activities. The Missouri Department of Public Health Epidemiology Section conducts surveillance for the occurrence of diseases and other health conditions that affect Missourians. By determining the who, what, where, when, how, and why related to these diseases and health conditions, appropriate interventions and control measures can be implemented to lessen their health impact. When an outbreak occurs, immediate action may be needed to prevent or control a situation. In the case of chronic diseases or injuries, more sustained activities may be required to prevent their occurrence or reduce their severity.


Major areas in which the Epidemiology Section conducts activities are: