Figure by John Burns


Epizootiology is the science dealing with the character, ecology, and causes of diseases in animals. Investigating the epizootiology answers fundamental questions such as:

  • What does the disease look like?
  • Where in the animal does this disease have an impact?
  • What animal characteristics and functions does this disease affect?

Answering these questions enables characterization of diseases so they can be recognized in the field. These findings also help to determine what factors drive a disease.

Two useful measures that are consistently used to assess the health of corals are ‘Prevalence’ and ‘Severity.’