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Back to Epidemics - the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Epidemics - the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases by The Pennsylvania State University

1,530 ratings

About the Course

Not so long ago, it was almost guaranteed that you would die of an infectious disease. In fact, had you been born just 150 years ago, your chances of dying of an infectious disease before you've reached the tender age of 5 would have been extremely high. Since then, science has come a long way in understanding infectious diseases - what they are, how they spread, and how they can be prevented. But diseases like HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, or the flu are still major killers worldwide, and novel emerging diseases are a constant threat to public health. In addition, the bugs are evolving. Antibiotics, our most potent weapon against bacterial infections, are losing their power because the bacteria are becoming resistant. In this course, we'll explore the major themes of infectious diseases dynamics. After we’ve covered the basics, we'll be looking at the dynamics of the flu, and why we're worried about flu pandemics. We'll be looking at the dynamics of childhood diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which were once considered almost eradicated, but are now making a comeback. We'll explore Malaria, and use it as a case study of the evolution of drug resistance. We'll even be looking at social networks - how diseases can spread from you to your friends to your friends' friends, and so on. And of course we’ll be talking about vaccination too. We’ll also be talking about how mobile phones, social media and crowdsourcing are revolutionizing disease surveillance, giving rise to a new field of digital epidemiology. And yes, we will be talking about Zombies - not human zombies, but zombie ants whose brains are hijacked by an infectious fungus. We're looking forward to having you join us for an exciting course!...

Top reviews


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The course was interesting and very well structured. I thank the Coursera team and as well as the instructors for their sharing their valuable time and knowledge.


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The information was well suited for the pandemic that we are dealing with right now in 2020. I enjoyed all the lectures and learned a wealth of information I hadn't known before.

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1 - 25 of 379 Reviews for Epidemics - the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

By Jennifer M

Oct 15, 2020

I feel like I learned a LOT in this course. I enjoyed having so many different instructors because I got to experience so many different teaching styles. As a teacher myself, I can also tell you that the great majority of these professors are fascinating to listen to (there is one fellow who seems terrified to be speaking publicly and I really felt sorry for him, but everyone else was great). I like being able to take tests at the end of each unit because I want to know if I have learned the material (EdX charges you for that, which is one of the reasons I prefer coursera). I cannot recommend this course highly enough if you are interested in Epidemiology.

By Mathew S O

May 21, 2023

The course "Epidemics- the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases is a very rich course that really taught the impact of pathogen on the populations in the ecosystem and transmissibility of the infections can be prevented or curtail. The course added to my skill on the dynamics of infection with prior basic knowledge of epidemiology. The course hopes that with further research carried out it is possible to extinct the causative agents causing unbearable infection and reducing the ecosystem populace. I recommend the course to anyone ready to delve into the knowledge of the public health science.

By M.C. D D

Apr 18, 2020

I have started several courses on Coursera - this was the first one I successfully completed in a looong time. The instructors are amazing: able to succinctly and clearly communicate important themes and concepts. I particularly enjoyed the brevity of each lesson. I completed the entire course in three weeks and moved on to other public health courses.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Penn State!

By Gracious A T

May 12, 2020

Online learning of Epidemiology via this media is very convenient, I was able to learn at my pace and I must say that this course is not just an addition to my CV, It would also be used for the development of my local community in the health sector.

Thank you Coursera!

By Ricardo Z V

Apr 13, 2020

This course is "prophetic" for what we are experiencing today because of the coronavirus. Not only does he have a biological visión but also a social vision about beliefs and behavior. Very good course, I recommend it.

By Shaaz N

Apr 12, 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 .

By Matt G

Apr 23, 2020

This course was super interesting. I am just completing a MPH and this was a course I wish was in my program.

By Rodolfo R

Aug 25, 2019

Good course on Infectious diseases; rather broad which includes social and belief perspectives.

Good points are: the part on the "social networks" which enable the student in better understanding on the patterns of transmission; the part on agriculture and zoonosis and their impact on infections in humans.

Parts where I expected a bit more: the part on the "dynamics", mostly on the SIR framework (I actually I choose to take this course hoping to get a deeper and practical understanding of this type of modeling).

By Peter D

Sep 9, 2015

Was an interesting course but, at least to me, seemed to lack relevant material I was hoping for. When Addressing the concepts of Ebola, SARS, or the concepts of anti-vaccination the content was vague. But overall I thought the course was very informative on the concepts of how infections can spread and how we can track the movements in order to help control infection rates. I will definitely be going back to rewatch some of these lectures in the future.

By Janet W

Apr 28, 2020

Excellent and highly recommended! Great faculty and guest speakers from diverse backgrounds providing a wide spectrum of opinions. I especially enjoyed the lively discussion forums in Week 8. Kudos to the course developer. Each topic was presented in “bite size” pieces and easy to comprehend. I can definitely apply this course to current events providing a foundation for understanding the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Fahd H K

May 1, 2020

This was a fantastic course. Especially given the current situation we are facing the world over. A very well structured course on a very important topic. Did a brilliant job in teaching the practical aspects of epidemics and epidemiology rather than focusing on the quantitative aspect of the discipline. A massive kudos to the team! Thank you for helping me improve my knowledge.

By 闰长青

Feb 9, 2020

Excellent courses! These courses were prepared by a combination of virologist, bacteriologist, immunologist and socialogist. They provided a comprehensive perspective on how epidemics emerge, spread and would be controlled by us. Quiet interesting. I learned so much from the courses!

By 冯峥

Feb 9, 2020

Wonderful introduction to epidemics. After finishing it, I've been able to distinguish whether a report about new epidemic is credible. I suppose it is important in today's society for that there seems to be more variable diseases while human society is continuously developing.

By Helen W

May 3, 2020

Thank you so much for this fascinating course...which I really found so I interesting.I learned such a lot and I wish to congratulate all the scientists for explaining everything so clearly to a non scientist like myself..Great stuff!

By Donna B

Apr 23, 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 Dr S K J

May 13, 2017

It is a wonderful course , I have gain and updated my Knowledge in the area of Epidemics and Infectious Disease, Thanks to the Course organizers and most effective presentations . Dr Shivaji

By Pranav K

Apr 12, 2020

An excellent brief course on epidemiology to refresh medical school knowledge and public health practitioners.

By Gita

Jan 15, 2020

The e-course was definitely very interesting, however, the quizzes were very annoying as well at times. I would spend more hours trying to pass these quizzes rather than actually learning from the course's content towards the end of it. Still, I recommend this course to anyone who wants an expansive introduction to infectious diseases.

By Suguna D

Oct 2, 2016

Of course, its a nice course but the calculations were little more for me to understand as I am a Medical doctor. I enjoyed the course. Thanks one and all for helping me to understand the course

By nicholas P

May 7, 2020


By Rune B

Oct 11, 2015

Interesting introduction to the topic. Would be beneficial if the course could be expanded and a formal certificate could be obtained providing credits or official points.

By Elize V

Jan 30, 2018

The instructors state in the beginning, that they put a lot of effort into making this course fun... And it was! The course provides an overview on history of emergence and treatment of infectious diseases as well as developments and future considerations for prevention and treatment. The information is explained very well and supported by very entertaining animations, which help to memorize the course material. The additional readings and videos provided each week were informative and offered increased understanding of each topic. This was the 8th course I completed on Coursera, and eventhough I enjoyed all, this the only one I rated with 5 stars. Enjoy!

By Agustin C

Oct 13, 2020

Excelente Curso!!! Explicado de una manera que hace que sea de fácil comprensión para cualquier persona que no este este familiarizada con la epidemiología, y al mismo tiempo explicado de una manera que resulta más entretenido que ver una serie o leer una novela. Creo que es un curso fundamental para hacer en este momento con los problemas que actualmente el mundo esta viviendo, ya que con este curso uno realmente entiende que es lo que esta pasando, aprende a hablar con propiedad y entiende que hacer ahora como en un futuro para no enfermar ni propagar una enfermedad infecciosa.


By Ian B

Apr 8, 2020

I took this course on learning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Very pleased I did. It was clear, even from the early lectures, that Covid-19 was going to be more serious than initial reports were suggesting. As a founding member of our local safety & security forum, we were able to formulate an emergency plan and mobilise ancillary medical personnel (we're all still on standby).

The course content is presented in a way that make it easy to understand. And kudos to whoever did the background sketches and animations... nice touch!

Thanks guys! And good luck to everyone still under lockdown!