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  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 2-3 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 10 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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“If history is our guide, we can assume that the battle between the intellect and will of the human species and the extraordinary adaptability of microbes will be never-ending.” (1)

Despite all the remarkable technological breakthroughs that we have made over the past few decades, the threat from infectious diseases has significantly accelerated. In this course, we will learn why this is the case by looking at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century.

This course covers the following four topics:

1. Origins of novel pathogens;
2. Analysis of the spread of infectious diseases;
3. Medical and public health countermeasures to prevent and control epidemics;
4. Panel discussions involving leading public health experts with deep frontline experiences to share their views on risk communication, crisis management, ethics and public trust in the context of infectious disease control.

In addition to the original introductory sessions on epidemics, we revamped the course by adding:
- new panel discussions with world-leading experts; and
- supplementary modules on next generation informatics for combating epidemics.

(1) Fauci AS, Touchette NA, Folkers GK. Emerging Infectious Diseases: a 10-Year Perspective from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 2005 Apr; 11(4):519-25.

What you'll learn
- Demonstrate knowledge of the origins, spread and control of infectious disease epidemics
- Demonstrate understanding of the importance of effective communication about epidemics
- Demonstrate understanding of key contemporary issues relating to epidemics from a global perspective


Theme One: Origins (Epidemics past, present and future)

Theme One: Origins (Emergence and ecology of infectious diseases)

Theme One: Origins (Medical Detective: Bug hunting in Epidemics)

Theme Two: Spread (Infectious disease epidemiology)

Theme Two: Spread (Epidemiological triangle)
-Theme One descriptions

Theme Two: Spread (Infectious disease modeling)
-Theme Two Summary

Theme Three: Control (Disease surveillance)

Theme Three: Control (Non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI))
-Theme Three Summary

Theme Three: Control (Vaccination)

Theme Four: Communication (Communicating disease risk)
-Theme Four Summary

Taught by

Mar Jit (LSHTM), Guan Yi (HKU), Gabriel M. Leung (HKU), Maria Huachen Zhu (HKU), Malik Peiris (HKU), Thomas Abraham (HKU), Marc Lipsitch (Harvard), Kwok-Yung Yuen (HKU), Joseph T. Wu (HKU), Tommy Lam (HKU) and Benjamin Cowling (HKU)

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