D. Blicq firstname.lastname@example.org (update 05/15/2013) DIRECTORY I BIO I NOTICE BOARD
With a growing human population exposed to new and continuously mutating infectious agents, there is significant and growing interest in the study of infectious diseases. Once the domain of specialized practitioners, the topic of epidemic and pandemic threats has now reached the general public. Production and distribution of antiviral and antimicrobial agents (as well as the rapid international transmission of deadly infectious agents such as SARS and Avian Influenza) have brought a sense of urgency to the general public.
Manitoba is home to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health which studies both human and animal infectious diseases and has both considerable interest and expertise in the field. Research at the HSC and SBRC as well as the universities is both active and effective. There is considerable local expertise in infectious disease research and development.
This introduction will establish a few basic concepts in the study of infectious disease and pandemic events and also contains the Course Outline.
What causes a Pandemic?
- New Infectious Disease - emergence of a new disease to the population
- Infectivity - the new disease can agent infects humans, causing serious illness
- Transmission and Sustainability - spreads easily and persists in population
According to the W.H.O. (World Health Organization 2006) pandemic events evolve through three different stages described as the Interpandemic, Pandemic Alert and the Pandemic periods.
1. Interpandemic period:
Phase 1: no new infectious subtypes have been detected in humans.
Phase 2: no new infectious subtypes have been detected in humans, but an animal variant threatens human disease.
2. Pandemic alert period
Phase 3: human infection(s) with a new subtype but no human-to-human spread.
Phase 4: small cluster(s) with limited localized human-to-human transmission
Phase 5: larger cluster(s) but human-to-human spread still localized.
3. Pandemic period:
Phase 6: Pandemic: increased and sustained transmission in general population.
History of Pandemics
Human history has had many significant occurrences of epidemic and pandemic events. Often of animal, or zoonotic origin, many of these pandemic had devastating consequences for the human population of the period. At the time many of these outbreaks of infectious disease were considered to be the "Wrath of God" or some other form of divine retribution as people sought an explanation for the misery and suffering.
"their fauces, in most of them, were painful from first to last, having redness with inflammation; defluxions thin, small and acrid; they were soon wasted and became worse, having no appetite for any kind of food throughout; no thirst; most persons delirious when near death. So much concerning the phthisical affections." Hippocrates, 400 BC
A few example of highly significant historical epidemic and pandemic events are described below.
541 - Bubonic Plague
Commencing in Egypt and moving throughout the Mediterranean to reach Constantinople in a single year, the outbreak was recorded as killing 10,000 individuals a day. Estimates suggest one quarter of the eastern Mediterranean population succumbed to this infection.
"Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another... And I, Agnolo di Tura...buried my five children with my own hands... So many died that all believed that it was the end of the world."
1300's - The Black Death
Beginning in Asia in the early 1300's the Black Death reached Europe in 1348. Over a six-year span, 20,000,000 Europeans were killed, representing a quarter of the total population. In some areas there was nearly complete depopulation. Transmission was from rats and flea bites.
"After the pestilence, many buildings, great and small, fell into ruins in every city for lack of inhabitants, likewise many villages and hamlets became desolate, not a house being left in them, all having died who dwelt there; and it was probable that many such villages would never be inhabited."
1816 - 1961 Cholera
Cholera has been the causative agent of seven pandemics commencing in India in 1816 until 1966 in the USSR. Cholera has been responsible for millions of deaths but has been greatly reduced due to better water purification and control practices. That being said there are consistent outbreaks in areas lacking sanitation practices such as observed in recent outbreaks in Angola and other areas of Africa.
“The endemic and epidemic diseases fall chiefly, as is usual, on the poor.”
With it's lethality and global impact often under-estimated, influenza has probably affected more human beings than other pandemic agents. Influenza has appeared repeatedly under different names. This includes the Asiatic (1889), Spanish (1918), Asia (1957) and Hong Kong (1968) influenza outbreaks. Some estimates suggest a total of 18,000,000 people died of influenza world-wide during the period of 1918-1919 alone. In modern society there are significant concerns over the potential for another significant influenza outbreak with many governmental health organizations establishing extensive emergency measures and contingency plans.
New World Pandemics
First encounters between the "new world" and European (and other) explorers often caused epidemic and pandemic events for indigenous peoples. Diseases like smallpox, measles and influenza decimated many communities which had absolutely no innate immunity. Prior to this, early trade between Asia and Europe had a similar impact with the onset of the Bubonic Plague in Europe being unintentionally transmitted by Italian traders returning from China in 1348.
In modern times any infectious disease is eighteen hours away (or less) based on the speed of international travel. This was never more apparent than with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreaks in Asia which in days had spread globally. From a single outbreak in Asia infections (and deaths) spread to countries world-wide:
With airport-to-airport arrival times less than eighteen hours (regardless of international destination) there are no longer small, "remote" outbreaks. Even with immediate travel restrictions to prevent its' spread, SARS quickly reached many countries around the globe. The convenience of rapid international travel can mean quick local transmission of infectious agents is possible (if not probable) in the case of "distant" outbreaks. Serious implications indeed for the public and medical practitioner alike.
Course Code and Title T07 –CXXX Pandemic Science (Introductory)
Department Health Sciences
Program Chemical and Biosciences Technology
Total Hours 28 Credit Hours 3
Course Description An internet-based research course designed to introduce the student to the language, concepts and issues of pandemic diseases and epidemiology. This course deals with the current state of pandemic diseases around the globe and examines core concepts as well as specific case studies.
Academic Pre-requisites Entrance Requirements NA
Course Delivery Method Online
The following Communication tools will be used in this course
Email, online content.
Course Format The course is an internet based course with (2) written / report-based assignments to be turned in via email to the instructor.
Effective date January 1, 2007
Instructor information David Blicq email@example.com (632-2577) A425M 2055 Notre Dame Ave, Wpg., MB, R3H 0J9
Student Readiness Computer, internet, other – floppy disc to save assignments
Student Commitments and Contact times Online commitments
Course Resources Textbook - there is no textbook for this course. References include posted notes, internet searches.
By the end of this course of study, you should be able to….
1. define epidemiology, pandemic and other core concepts.
2. understand and use the language and concepts of infectious disease studies.
3. comprehend core concepts of pandemics, basic microbiology, virology, infectious diseases and specific infectious pathogens.
4. maintain a successful working knowledge of pandemic science as the field continues to develop.
5. seek and find pertinent information on infectious diseases and epidemiology and related fields of activity.
Instruction Schedule Self directed internet course. Please email the instructor to start the course. As well, please mail the instructor with any questions regarding the course content or the assignments. The instructor will respond within a reasonable time during normal working hours.
Assessment and Evaluation Assignments 1+2 together make up 100% of the course grade. Assignments 1+2 must be typed and referenced.
Letter grade Distribution
90 – 100 %
80 – 89 %
75 – 79 %
70 – 74 %
65 – 69 %
60 – 64 %
0 – 59 %
General Academic Policies It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with and adhere to the Red River College (RRC) Academic Policies and Procedures. These Policies and Procedures can be found in the RRC calendar or online at http://www.rrc.mb.ca/academicpolicy/default.htm#
Supplemental Policies Students can submit completed assignments by correspondence or email. All assignments MUST be submitted on time. Assignments will NOT be accepted late; you will receive a grade of F in the course.
Additional Information / Frequently asked questions References must be included with your assignments and should follow the following format:
Book: author, title, publisher, date, pages
Internet site: the URL, title, author, date sourced
Journal: the title of the journal, title of article, author, volume #, date, pages