Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The University of Hong Kong

Epidemics II

The University of Hong Kong via edX


With supplementary module on COVID-19
Including our study results, final size estimation for superspreading clusters, the Chinese experience for global preparedness, and more.

“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 is the second (spread of infectious diseases) of the four courses, covers these topics:

  • Basic Concepts in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Triangle: The Pathogen, The Host and The Environment
  • Evidence Synthesis
  • Infectious Disease Modelling




  • 传染病学的基本概念
  • 流行病学三角模型: 病原体,宿主和环境
  • 证据综合
  • 传染病模型


(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.


Week 1: Spread (Infectious Disease Epidemiology)

  • Basic Concepts in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidemic Curve
  • What is Incubation Period and Use of Incubation Period
  • Transmissibility of Communicable Diseases
  • Timescale of Disease Transmission
  • What is Severity of Infectious Disease
  • Difficulties Associated with Severity Estimation

Week 2: Spread (Epidemiological Triangle)

  • Epidemiologic Triangle
  • The Pathogen: The Effects of Dose and Pathogen Genetics
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case1: Myxoma Virus)
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case 2: Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case 3: Antimicrobial Resistance)
  • The Host: Overview
  • The Host: How Age Affects Disease Transmission and Severity
  • The Host: Sexual Mixing
  • The Environment
  • Supplementary Module: Influenza Immunity and Transmission In Time, Age and Space

Week 3: Spread (Infectious Disease Modeling)

  • Infectious Disease Modelling (Susceptible Infectious Removed Model)
  • Evidence Synthesis
  • Uncertainty in Modeling (Dynamic Uncertainty, Parametric Uncertainty)
  • Uncertainty in Modeling (Structural Uncertainty, Scenario Uncertainty)
  • Supplementary Module: Precision Public Health

Taught by

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


Start your review of Epidemics II

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.