What is Exposure Assessment?
Exposure at the simplest level is the dose of the pathogen that an individual ingests, inhales, or comes in contact with. This number feeds into the dose-response models to predict the probability of infection. However exposure assessment is very complex and involves a combination of addressing the methods used to measure the microbes and the concentrations in the water or air for example, as well as the timing of the exposure. In most cases exposure can be viewed as a pathway from the source of the pathogen (eg shedding of pathogens by infected individuals, or concentrations in sewage) to the actual exposure (swimming at the beach). This also involves understanding the transport and survival of the microbe.