Epidemics - University of Hong Kong



Important information

  • Course
  • Online
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Why was the Ebola epidemic that started in 2013 so devastating? What can be done to control and mitigate outbreaks of new pathogens such as MERS coronavirus? 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 panel discussions with world leading experts in epidemics, including Professor Peter Piot who is the co-discoverer of Ebola and Professor Barbara Stocking who chairs the 2015 WHO-commissioned panel that assesses WHO's response to the Ebola outbreak.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

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Requirements: None.


Where and when

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What you'll learn on the course

Disease epidemics

Course programme

“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 course covers these four 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.  (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.

Additional information

Gabriel M. Leung (HKU) Gabriel Leung is Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He is also Chair Professor in the School of Public Health and honorary consultant in family medicine and primary care. Previously he was Head of the Department of Community Medicine. Gabriel Leung served in government as Hong Kong’s first Under Secretary for Food and Health and fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office. He regularly advises various national and international agencies including the World Health Organization, World Bank and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thomas Abraham (HKU) Thomas Abraham is Director of the Master of Journalism programme at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at HKU, and an Associate Professor of Practice.