Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks

What can we do to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases from becoming epidemics or pandemic? In this course you’ll learn the facts about infectious diseases and medical responses, with a focus on the public health laws and policies that provide the framework for effective prevention, like quarantine laws, drug development policies, and bioterrorism and biodefense.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a textbook?
    • No textbook is required. However, the students may be provided with supplemental reading assignments during this course that will either be provided by the instructors or will be available online.
  • Is this a self-paced course or do I need to be available at specific times?
    • The student does not need to be available at specific times to complete the requirements of this course. However, each module needs to be completed within a given time period, which is typically 1 week in length.
  • Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
    • Students who successfully complete this class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
  • How can I continue my interest in this and other law topics?
    • Find out more about online programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Recommended Background

None - all are welcome. If you are interested in this topic you may be interested in other online programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.