UPDATE: And we’re done! Huge thanks to René F. Najera, DrPH. He’s an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and is currently serving on the pandemic response team at a health department in the Washington, DC, area.
Epidemiology is the study of health in entire communities. For a timely example, epidemiologists are the people who track down the causes of pandemics, and study how they spread and how to control them. (Epidemiology is about more than disease, though: Najera’s doctoral dissertation used epidemiological tools to understand the epidemic of homicides in Baltimore.)
This isn’t even Najera’s first pandemic. He was the influenza surveillance coordinator at the Maryland Department of Health during the 2009 H1N1 (flu) pandemic. He has also consulted on disease surveillance in Colombia, where he helped to track down a Chikungunya outbreak; with the CDC on the response to Zika in Puerto Rico; and with local health departments on preparedness for Ebola.
And now, lucky readers, he’s here to answer your questions about the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Q&A has now ended! Thank you everyone for your thoughtful questions, and thanks to Dr. Najera for taking the time to answer them.