Welcome to Principles of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Online Training Course

The Principles of Epidemiology course was developed by epidemiologist within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to introduce students to the core principles and concepts of epidemiological practices in the realm of public health. This course covers basic epidemiology principles, concepts, and procedures useful in the surveillance and investigation of health-related states or events that pertain particularly to infectious disease. The online modules serve as a precursor to the in-class course to help facilitate the basic understanding of the practices of public health and biostatistics. Key concepts covered will be:

  • applications of descriptive and analytic epidemiology,
  • calculating and interpreting ratios, proportions, incidence rates, mortality rates, and understanding prevalence,
  • preparing and analyzing tables, graphs, and charts,
  • describe the processes, and uses of public health surveillance,
  • describing the steps of an outbreak investigation.

The on-line portion of the course consists of eight modules. Each module presents instructional information along with relevant exercises that apply and tests knowledge and skills gained during the module. Attendees must receive a score of at least 80% on each module quiz and successful completion of all modules and the final quiz is required prior to attending the in-class course.

Attendees of the in-class course must bring a laptop computer with them to the class. iPhones, Tablets, and notebooks may not be used as they are not compatible with the computer segment of the classroom exercises.

*These trainings do not need to be taken in numerical order but we do recommend that you take Module I Introduction to Epidemiology first.*

For the best experience with these trainings, we recommend that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or greater. Trainings may not be fully compatible with other internet browsers, such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

Due to potential connectivity issues with the survey associated with the modules, it is recommended that you print the results page at the end of each module, before you click the survey link.

  • Module I - Introduction to Epidemiology (Estimated Completion Time - 45 minutes)
    During this online training module, you will learn the key epidemiologic terms as well as the factors that influence the incidence and distribution of a disease in a human. You will also become familiar with the modern approach to epidemiology and have an better understanding of the purpose of epidemiology.

  • Module II - The Infectious Disease Process (Estimated Completion Time - 45 minutes)
    This online training module will describe the six major components of the infectious disease process, as well as demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of the infectious disease spectrum.

  • Module III - Public Health Surveillance (Estimated Completion Time - 60 minutes)
    This online training module will prepare health workers to define public health surveillance and describe its components. You will gain a better understanding of the purposes of surveillance, learn about the two basic forms of surveillance, and gain the knowledge of how to evaluate and improve surveillance systems.

  • Module IV - Statistical Measures (Estimated Completion Time - 120 minutes)
    During this online training module, you will gain a better understanding of statistical frequency measures used in infectious disease epidemiology. You will construct a frequency distribution, calculate and interpret several statistical measures, and apply appropriate statistical measures.

  • Module V - Displaying and Interpreting Epidemiologic Variables (Estimated Completion Time - 60 minutes)
    This online training module will give you the basic knowledge of epidemiologic variables, methods of organizing epidemiologic data, and the appropriate display methods and formats for specific kinds of epidemiologic data.

  • Module VI - Interviewing 101 (Estimated Completion Time - 30 minutes)
    During this online training module, you will learn the purpose and goals of epidemiologic interviewing. You will also become familiar with the methods used to assure confidentiality, the components of effective communication, and the techniques for maintaining objectivity.

  • Module VII - Outbreak Investigations (Estimated Completion Time - 30 minutes)
    Throughout the online training module, you will learn the steps in an outbreak investigation and go through each step as you work through an outbreak case study.

  • Module VIII - Preparing An Outbreak Investigation Report (Estimated Completion Time - 30 minutes)
    This online training module is designed to identify the necessary elements of an outbreak investigation report. Also learn how to sequence epidemiologic information with an outbreak report and the appropriate recipients of an outbreak report.

  • Principles of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Overview (Estimated Completion Time - 30 minutes)
    This module is a complete overview or collection of the information presented in the above trainings. We recommend that you take this training after you have successfully completed Modules I through VIII.


  • In-Person Workshop Documents (these are the documents you will need for the in-person workshop and they are password protected. You will be given the password and instructions at the In-Person Workshop.)

Contact Information

The following individuals are contacts who can discuss field specific questions you may have regarding the epidemiology content of the course:

Questions or problems with the online course should be directed to Diana Winder at Diana.Winder@health.mo.gov or (573) 526-5832.