School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Infectious Diseases Intelligence (PHCM9788)

Image - Doctors testing swine flu - Flickr

Course is offered in two different modes:

1) 4-day face-to-face workshop, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, 22-25 November 2016
2) Externally by distance mode

Introduction

Infectious diseases continue to threaten humanity. The emergence of novel human pathogens and old pathogens in new environments has tested the bounds of existing infectious diseases intelligence generation and response capacity. Recent experiences with infectious diseases management has seen new and expanded roles for military, health agencies, international organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders, all of whom should have an in-depth grounding in infectious diseases intelligence. This course is for professionals wanting to gain an in-depth understanding of the public health intelligence of infectious diseases, who wish to extend themselves with diverse real-life scenarios to gain new skills which can be applied in their professional practice.

Overview

Infectious diseases intelligence refers to the understanding of the complex epidemic patterns of infectious diseases and the application of this knowledge to effective disease control, mitigation and prevention. Infectious diseases contribute significantly to the global burden of diseases and remain leading causes of death across the world. Emerging and re-emerging infections such as pandemic influenza, Ebola, dengue, chikungunya and MERS Corona Virus (CoV) pose an additional public health challenge and require coordinated and systematic disease control responses. A multi-disciplinary, public health approach is needed to understand the requirements for infectious diseases control at a population level. This course uses case studies to teach epidemiologic disease pattern recognition, identification of aberrant patterns, and interpretation of epidemic and surveillance data to inform disease control. An overview of field epidemiology methods and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases will also be provided. Case studies will include H7N9, MERS coronavirus and a salmonella outbreak.

Course description
  • This course is designed to teach advanced outbreak investigation and surveillance methods.The course will provide a grounding in epidemiological pattern recognition (epidemic, endemic, sporadic) in infectious diseases for first-outbreak responders, surveillance officers, or policy makers from medicine, allied health, public health, emergency management, law enforcement, military or others from  relevant backgrounds.
  • Case studies in risk assessment, risk mitigation, response and prevention will be studied. These will cover Ebola virus disease, MERS-CoV, avian influenza and salmonellosis; distinguishing natural from unnatural epidemics, surveillance tools, rapid intelligence and analysis methods.
  • Data quality in resource limited settings and implications for risk assessment will be examined.
  • Understanding of modelling and forecasting of infectious diseases based on known transmission dynamics and patterns will also be explored.
  • Preparation of first line responders to optimise usage of infectious diseases intelligence techniques will be covered, including prioritisation of data sourcing/mining, strengthening, mapping disease transmission patterns to modes of transmission, and ultimately epidemic control measures.
  •  This is a companion course to both Outbreak Investigation and Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence, and should be taken by anyone considering a career in epidemic response and field epidemiology.
Credit points

This course is a core course of the Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence Program, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program. A value of 6 UOC requires a minimum of 150 hours work for the average student across the semester.

Who should do this course?

This course is designed for relevant stakeholders from any sector, who wish to gain a better understanding of infectious diseases intelligence in the era of new and emerging disease threats, and management approaches for the identification, assessment, prevention and control of infectious diseases. Students will have an intensive, interactive experience, which will include exposure to the perspectives of different stakeholder sectors in infectious diseases.

Flexible delivery

For busy professionals with diverse needs, we provide you the flexibility to do this intensive course in Sydney in face-to-face workshop mode or as a fully online intensive. We ensure an equivalent interactive and intensive experience regardless of which mode of delivery you choose. Our experienced tutors will also be available to discuss problems online as well as face-to-face in the classroom.

Photo: Doctors testing for swine flu, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Flickr

   
 

Image - Professor Raina MacIntyre

 

Professor Raina MacIntyre

Head, School of Public Health & Community Medicine
Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology

Professor Raina MacIntyre is Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She is an international leader in emerging infections and runs a highly strategic research program spanning epidemiology, vaccinology, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. She is best known for research in the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza. She has led the largest body of research internationally on face masks and respirators in health care workers. She has done research on using risk-analysis methods for bioterrorism, and for analysing emerging infectious diseases outbreaks such as MERS-CoV.  She is a leader in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly. She also has an interest in the ethics of medicine, and specifically in dual-use research of concern.  She leads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence immunisation for high risk populations and won the 2014 PHAA National Immunisation Award. Prof MacIntyre has over 230 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her research is underpinned by extensive field outbreak investigation experience. Her in-depth understanding of the science of outbreak investigation draws from this experience combined with her academic training through a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology. Her passion for field epidemiology led her to co-found the ARM network for Australian outbreak response.

 

Image - Dr Alex Rosewell

 

Dr Alex Rosewell

Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health & Community Medicine

Dr Alex Rosewell is a graduate of the Australian Field Epidemiology Training program, the MAE at ANU, and completed his PhD on “Strengthening Disease Surveillance in Papua New Guinea” at UNSW, while working in the Emerging Diseases Surveillance and Response Team in WHO. He has extensive experience in infectious diseases outbreak control including cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, measles, influenza, meningococcal disease, hepatitis E, pertussis and turtle meat poisoning. He has substantial field experience with WHO/PAHO in Papua New Guinea, Haiti, Nicaragua, India, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Philippines etc. He is administrator of the ARM network for Australian outbreak response.

 

Abrar Chughtai

 

Dr Abrar Chughtai

Lecturer, School of Public Health & Community Medicine

Dr Chughtai is a Lecturer in International Health at the School. He has more than 15-year experience in the health sector with national and international health organisations, including WHO and JICA. He has substantial experience of public health programs, having worked in the WHO TB control program for many years. He significantly contributed to the strengthening of TB surveillance in Pakistan and led the development of an online system for TB data collection. He has been involved in humanitarian work during various health emergencies and natural disasters. His research interests include epidemiology and control of infectious diseases, personal protective equipment and disease surveillance.

 

Image - Chau Bai

 

Dr Chau Bui

PhD student, School of Public Health & Community Medicine

Dr Chau Bui is a veterinarian, (Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney), with a Masters of International Public Health from the University of New South Wales. She is working on a PhD project which examines the epidemiology of avian influenza viruses in birds and humans using spatial modelling methods. Her research interests include zoonotic emerging infectious diseases, spatial epidemiology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

 

Image - Dr David Muscatello

 

Dr David Muscatello

Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health & Community Medicine

Dr David Muscatello is a Senior Lecturer at the School. He has a PhD in the epidemiology of influenza. He also has many years experience in government as an epidemiologist specialising in acute disease surveillance using administrative databases, public health intelligence and biostatistics including time series analysis. He played a major surveillance role in the New South Wales government response to pandemic influenza in 2009 and has served on the Australian National Influenza Surveillance Committee. David is also a graduate of the New South Wales Public Health Officer Training Program and has supervised and trained numerous Public Health Officer and Biostatistical trainees.