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University of Pittsburgh Offers Course on 'Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks'

About the Course Diseases like Ebola, AIDS, and SARS pose a worldwide danger in our era of globalization, now that they can jump from one continent to another in just a few hours by hopping on a plane with their human hosts. When a disease outbreak occurs, preventing an epidemic requires intensive, coordinated international, national, and local efforts. Governments and international organizations have developed a set of public health policies and laws to enable them to fight these diseases with tools like emergency deployment of medical personnel, aggressive diagnosis and treatment protocols, vaccine and drug development, and quarantines. This course will teach you about outbreaks of infectious diseases, how an outbreak can become an epidemic or pandemic, our toolkit of preventative measures and responses, and the laws and policies that enable those systems to operate. It features tiered instruction, with fun instruction using movies, games, and interviews to make learning easy for people with a general interest in the topic, followed by advanced instruction on a few hot topics for those who want to learn more. Course Syllabus Week One:  Introduction. This week’s lesson will bring you up to speed on the essential facts about disease outbreaks and the framework for fighting them, so that you will be prepared to delve into these issues in depth in the following weeks. Week Two: Understanding Infectious Diseases. This week, you will learn about infectious diseases and how they spread. Week Three: Global Health Security.  Disease outbreaks anywhere in the world can have global implications, so our preparedness and response to them must be global as well. During this week’s lesson, we will cover the legal and policy frameworks for international cooperation on health security. Week Four:  Local Countermeasures. These diseases may be global, but ultimately they have to be fought locally, one victim and one community at a time. This week’s topic is the law and policy shaping local interventions in the United States. While we use the U.S. as our example, similar issues will arise anywhere in the world that an outbreak occurs. For more information, please click here for link.