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edX

Epidemics-Origins, Spread, Control and Communication

The University of Hong Kong via edX Professional Certificate

Overview

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 online course, we will learn why this is the case by looking at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics/pandemics and the global/public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century. Explore the science, prevention and control of epidemics in this program. In addition to lectures by leading scientists in this field from HKU, this program will feature panel discussions on Ebola and Zika Outbreak, Anti-vaccination and more, with world leading experts in epidemics.

“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)

This program covers the following topics:

  • Origins of novel pathogens.
  • Analysis of the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Medical and public health countermeasures to prevent and control epidemics.
  • 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, including Ebola and Zika Outbreak, Anti-vaccination and more.
  • Supplementary modules on next generation informatics for combating epidemics.
  • Supplementary modules on SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19.

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(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.

Syllabus

Courses under this program:
Course 1: Epidemics I

Explore the science, prevention and control of epidemics in this free online course. In addition to lectures by leading scientists in this field from HKU, this course will feature a supplementary module on COVID-19 and panel discussions with world-leading experts in epidemics.

This is the first (origins of novel pathogens) of the four courses, covers these topics:

  • Epidemics: Past, Present and Future
  • Discussion on Ebola and Zika Outbreak, and Supplementary Module on NextGeneration Informatics for Global Health
  • Ecology, Evolution and Emergence of Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Detective: Bug Hunting in Epidemics


Course 2: Epidemics II

Explore the science, prevention and control of epidemics in this free online course. In addition to lectures by leading scientists in this field from HKU, this course will feature a supplementary module on COVID-19 and panel discussions with world leading experts in epidemics.

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


Course 3: Epidemics III

Explore the science, prevention and control of epidemics in this free online course. In addition to lectures by leading scientists in this field from HKU, this course will feature a supplementary module on COVID-19 and panel discussions with world-leading experts in epidemics.

This is the third (control of infectious diseases) of the four courses, covers these topics:

  • Disease Surveillance
  • Non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI)
  • Vaccination (Effectiveness, Trials, Safety, Impact on Populations, Vaccine Economics, Confidence and Hesitancy)
  • Panel Discussion on WHO’s Response to the Ebola Outbreak; and Anti-vaccination


Course 4: Epidemics IV

Explore the science, prevention and control of epidemics in this free online course. In addition to lectures by leading scientists in this field from HKU, this course will feature a supplementary module on COVID-19 and panel discussions with world-leading experts in epidemics.

This is the last (communication of infectious diseases) of the four courses, covers these topics:

  • Risk Communication in Disease Outbreaks
  • Communicating Infectious Diseases


Courses

Taught by

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

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