Epidemiologic Patterns of Four Acute Diseases in Jordan

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This case study is modeled after an American version developed for the CDC EIS Summer Course in the 1970s. This Jordanian version was developed by the 1999 residents in the Jordan Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), Dr. Najwa Ja'arour (co-Director, FETP), Dr. Robert Fontaine (CDC co-Director, FETP), and Dr. Richard Dicker (CDC).
Date published
Jan, 1999
Last updated
23 Jan 2020


Learning Objectives:

After completing this case study, the participant should be able to:

  • use descriptive epidemiology to characterize the patterns of disease occurrence by time, place, and person; and
  • properly construct tables, graphs, and charts for the analysis, display, and interpretation of epidemiologic data.    

This case study is a practical exercise in graphing techniques used to illustrate and compare epidemiological characteristics of diseases. The case study provides an opportunity to explore and interpret disease patterns using such simple epidemiologic characteristics as secular trends, and variations by age group and geography. You will be working with data on four unidentified diseases. The diagnoses are omitted in order to concentrate attention on the epidemiologic features presented, and to dispel bias from preconceived notions or prior knowledge. On all graphs, information should be shown clearly and in good proportion. Student may use either arithmetic or semi‑log paper, depending on the data, which are available, and the purpose of the graph. Label and draw all graphs with pencil. Attached are data on the long‑term incidence trends ("secular trends"), and data for 1998 by age group and geographic location. Your task will be to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of each disease.