According to the World Health Organization, Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. Humans can contract such diseases from one another, directly or indirectly however most of these microorganisms aren’t threatening although few can cause serious illnesses. Infectious diseases can further be broken down into bacterial infections, bone infections, viral, fungal and various other kinds of infections. The COVID-19 is the most recent infection that the world is reeling under having reported many deaths with several cases still active. The healthcare sector is struggling worldwide in battling the growing infection. Not only the underdeveloped nations but also the developed countries are striving to develop a vaccination which will bring an end to the life-threatening disease.
During a crisis such as this, the most relevant role is of an Infectious disease public health specialist whose core responsibility is to plan and implement strategies for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. With the rise of such infections and contagious diseases, there is a tremendous need for specialists who are experts in infectious diseases. The growing demand also calls for continuous training through which students can specialize in the given capacity and be relevant to the healthcare sector.
What does an Infectious Disease Public health Specialist do?
An Infectious Disease Public Health professional specializes in the control of various infections by which many of us get affected. Infections can be as common as flu or they can be as life-threatening as Ebola and Zika virus. While many infections are easily contained or prevented, some can turn worse and result in an epidemic, an ongoing example being COVID-19. An ID public health professional supports the healthcare system and ensures that the spread of these infections are controlled and the cause of the outbreak is also investigated.
How does one become an Infectious Disease Public Health Specialist?
The first step towards becoming an ID Public Health specialist is to complete a degree in life sciences. An MPH with a specialization in infectious diseases ensures that the professional is trained in the basic tenets of public health management as well as in the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
What does the program include?
The online program at James Lind Institute (JLI) delves deep to understand the past and present of infectious diseases, types of infections, the basics of Microbiology, Biology principles, public health, nosocomial infections and many other facets related to Infectious diseases. The 18- month long MPH Infectious disease program offers an advanced understanding of diverse infectious diseases including their prevention, control, surveillance and treatment. An expert Infectious Disease Public Health Specialist will assist and guide students with their project work while also clearing doubts and helping get a clear understanding of various topics. One needs to have a Bachelor’s degree or any other equivalent degree to pursue the online program.
What is the future for an Infectious Disease Public Health Specialist?
Great challenges bring great opportunities. The idiom stands true in the current times wherein the role of an Infectious Disease Public Health specialist is being recognized the world over. While many infections get newsworthy attention, ID public health specialists barely receive any recognition for their hard work. However, with the changing times, their role is becoming more and more prominent. Governments are focusing on the healthcare sector and revising various norms to address such concerns more effectively. ID public health specialist is a rewarding career with job prospects in medical institutions, public health agencies, universities, state and government agencies etc. Seeing the emergence of novel infections and life-threatening diseases, job possibilities for Infectious Disease public health specialists will see an upswing. In the coming times, it will be imperative for governments of various countries to focus on research and investigation of several infections. With the growing demand, the remuneration of Infectious Disease public health specialists will also get a boost, although it will be dependent on the total experience. A medical professional with a Master’s degree in Infectious Diseases will be a much-needed skill in the coming time which will surely be advantageous.
As mentioned earlier, the scope of an Infectious Disease Public Health Specialist is too vast and offers unparalleled career diversity. One can lead a career in primary care, medical institutions, pharmaceutical industries, etc and climb the ladder of success. A role of an ID public health specialist also allows you to migrate into epidemiology, public health or any other agency where you see yourself adding more value. With the changing times and the current state of healthcare, there will be many roles which will be born out of basic need and demand. Moreover, infections are connected through a chain of human beings. If one gets affected, there are high chances that other people in contact would also get infected therefore it poses a threat to all. With virulent organisms increasing rapidly, ID public health specialists are an army of expert specialists who are needed at the forefront to defend communities and nations of various threats.