Public health approaches to infectious disease

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    This free course, Public health approaches to infectious disease, reviews the current global burden of infectious disease, the public health strategies that are reducing the impact of some major infections and the challenges facing national and international organisations in preventing illness and death caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites.

    After studying this course, you should be able to:

    • define and use, or recognise definitions and applications of, each of the glossary terms for the course
    • summarise the main features of the current global burden of infectious disease and the public health movement that has evolved to reduce its impact, emphasising the contributions of epidemiology, water quality, sanitation and hygiene, global infectious disease surveillance networks, and evidence-based interventions such as vaccination programmes
    • use appropriate examples and interpret unfamiliar examples presented to you, to illustrate successful public health strategies that: use education to support behavioural changes that enable people to protect themselves, their children or other community members from infection; promote resistance to infection in the human host; isolate a source of infection to prevent it from being passed on; tackle an environmental source of infection
    • consider a range of public health strategies, including unfamiliar examples, and identify the levels of prevention (primary, secondary, tertiary) involved in their implementation
    • use or analyse examples of public health interventions to illustrate the importance of international and national prevention programmes, community participation and community health workers in controlling infectious disease.

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