About this Course
4.7
594 ratings
148 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 15 hours to complete

Suggested: 20 hours of videos and quizzes...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Skills you will gain

BiologyMicrobiologyPublic HealthVaccine Development
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 15 hours to complete

Suggested: 20 hours of videos and quizzes...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Course Introduction

Welcome to Epidemics: the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. This course will teach you about the variety of parasitic organisms that infect humans, animals, and plants, how these parasites spread through populations, and the various methods that we employ to control them....
Reading
3 readings
Reading3 readings
Course Overview10m
Course Syllabus10m
Glossary of Terms10m
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Pathogens

In the first module, you will learn about the organisms that can infect us and make us sick: pathogens. We will first take a look at the various types of pathogens that exist, and then learn about what it means to be infectious, and what it means to cause disease. After that, we will cover the various methods by which pathogens can transmit from one person to the next, thereby causing an epidemic. You will learn about the most important number in all of epidemiology, R0, and why this number is so important. Finally, we will learn that microorganisms are not always harmful, but can be beneficial to us as well....
Reading
7 videos (Total 40 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Micro and Macro Parasites5m
Infection and Disease6m
Transmission Types4m
Reproductive Number4m
Epidemic Curve6m
Micro-organisms6m
Reading1 reading
Module Overview10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Summative: Pathogens20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Hosts

The second module of the course covers host factors that determine the outcome of infection. We will first focus on host immunity and present both the general immune capabilities—the innate immune response—that are encoded in our genes and that provide the initial response to infection and the adaptive immune response, which arises from highly specialized cells that protect against a specific pathogen. You will then learn about the ways that pathogens circumvent these two types of immunity and consider other factors that can contribute to an individual becoming infected or diseased—including genetic factors, other microbes, and how social and emotional factors influence immunity. We will then consider how infection with a microorganism causes disease and how public health officials determine whether a disease outbreak is caused by an infectious organism....
Reading
7 videos (Total 41 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Types of Immunity: Adaptive Immune System5m
Immune Evasion6m
Other Determinants of Susceptibility6m
Social Influences on Immunity4m
Pathogens and Disease6m
Detecting an Infectious Disease Outbreak6m
Reading1 reading
Module Overview: Hosts10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Summative: Hosts20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Basics of Ecology

The third module of the course covers ecological factors that influence the dynamic patterns of infectious disease. We will discuss the conditions under which a pathogen can drive its host to extinction. We will look at how the demography of the host may allow the pathogen to persist in some populations but not others. We will talk about how host and pathogen characteristics interact to shape different temporal patterns of disease incidence at the population level and discuss the ecological consequences of infecting more than one host species....
Reading
9 videos (Total 55 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Force of Infection5m
Cycles4m
Seasonality3m
Flu 19185m
Host Diversity, Host Range3m
Critical Community Size8m
Pathogen-Microbiome Interactions8m
The 2014 Ebola Outbreak9m
Reading1 reading
Module Overview: Basics of Ecology10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Summative: Basics of Ecology20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Epidemiology

Where humans live and how they are connected to each other, have strong effects on how infectious diseases can spread. In this module, you will learn about some of the related key concepts of epidemiology. After looking at some fascinating history, we’ll learn about social networks as the ultimate “road map” on which diseases can travel and we’ll talk about how the structure of the network can influence disease dynamics. After that, we’ll cover three topics that all affect infectious disease epidemiology in dramatic ways: human transport systems, population density and so-called superspreaders - individuals who can spread a disease to dozens or even hundreds of other individuals. We’ll close by identifying what information is required for disease surveillance....
Reading
8 videos (Total 52 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video8 videos
Social Networks5m
Structure of Networks5m
Superspreaders6m
Spatial Hetergeneity5m
Movement and Modern Transportation5m
Surveillance and Disclosure5m
Co-Infection Consequences10m
Reading1 reading
Module Overview: Epidemiology10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Summative: Epidemiology20m
4.7
148 ReviewsChevron Right
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DBApr 23rd 2016

Can't fault this course at all and nor would I want to. Very interesting, brilliantly presented and the range of experts really enhanced it. It was engaging and made me keen to find out more.

By SNApr 12th 2016

great course and its intensive learning . One might think its just another course . However, one needs to follow all the lectures and notes closely to be able to pass all their assignments .

Instructors

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Dr. Ottar N. Bjornstad

Professor of Entomology and Biology
Department of Biology
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Dr. Rachel A. Smith

Associate Professor
Department of Communication Arts & Sciences and Human Development & Family Studies
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Dr. Mary L. Poss

Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
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Dr. David P. Hughes

Assistant Professor of Entomology and Biology
Department of Biology
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Dr. Peter Hudson

Willaman Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
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Dr. Matthew Ferrari

Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
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Dr. Andrew Read

Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences, and Professor of Entomology
Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics
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Dr. Marcel Salathé

Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Biology

About The Pennsylvania State University

Founded in 1855 as Pennsylvania's only land-grant university, The Pennsylvania State University combines academic rigor with a vibrant campus life. A nationally recognized Research-I institution, Penn State teaches students to be leaders with a global perspective. Supporting not only the citizens of our Commonwealth, Penn State engages in collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners in the United States and abroad to generate, disseminate, integrate, and apply knowledge that is valuable to society....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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