Disease in America: Investigation and Response to Outbreaks

Course Description

This course will cover multiple outbreak investigations- HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Pandemic Flu, and Food-Borne Illness. Information will be conveyed through a series of lectures, case studies, reviews of popular media, discussions, and problem sets. Since the course is interdisciplinary, you will spend time each lecture learning the basic principles of epidemiology and how these principles are applied to different scenarios. You will learn the difference between a disease that is endemic to when it becomes an outbreak and be able to calculate the data needed to make that decision.

From each outbreak, you will discuss how certain decisions were made and who was included in that decision-making. You will be engaged through the use of data in problem sets, information dissemination by analysis of the popular media, and through public speaking in learning the art of public health communication. Each situation calls for the inclusion of different stakeholders and also depends on the current political environment. You will evaluate the current landscape and discuss why decisions are made at each point in time. There will be a final project where you will conduct your own disease investigation and present findings and recommendations to your classmates.

Texts such as basic principles of epidemiology and Randy Schultz's book "And the Band Played On," and some articles from both the popular press as well as peer-reviewed journals will be used in this course. This course provides a foundation for students interested in public health, epidemiology, and health policy.

By the end of this course you will be able to:
• Compare the difference in disease burden between infectious and chronic disease
• Discuss the impact of politics and policy on disease response
• Explain the roles of prevention, detection, control of infectious and chronic conditions, and health disparities have in the identification of disease
• Define epidemiology and explain its historical and contemporary importance in improving the overall health of populations
• Communicate epidemiologic information in terms of magnitude, person, time, and place


High School Algebra, Honors English. Students should at least be able to understand ratios, decimals, multiplication, and the ability to read through and successfully interpret word problems. Students should be advanced high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors for this course.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Cara Sammartino
Course Number: 10126