Science

Disease & Public Health

Introductory Questions

    • What is a disease? What is an epidemic?
    • What is the difference between epidemiology and public health?
    • Does globalization increase the spread of disease?
    • What role should governments play in ensuring public health?
    • What are the greatest threats to public health in your country?
    • What are the greatest threats to public health worldwide?
    • When would it be appropriate to quarantine an entire city or country?
    • When should you give up on saving a patient’s life?
    • Should doctors risk their own lives to treat victims of epidemics?
    • How can we keep our societies safe from epidemics?
    • What is the difference between individual and structural interventions?
    • Are we all ultimately responsible for our own health?
    • Should we strive for a world without disease?
    • Is it worth sacrificing a few lives to develop the cure to a fatal disease?

In Sickness and in Health

    • Purpose of Public Health
    • Hospitals, Clinics, and Other Health Providers
    • Medical Education
    • National and Global Institutions
    • Private vs. Public Health
    • Successes and Shortcomings

#Spreadthepwaathogen

    • From Hippocrates to the Four Humors: Classical Views of Disease
    • Distinguishing Sickness, Illness, and Disease
    • Advances in the 19th and 20th Centuries
    • Agents of Infection & Modes of Pathogen Transmission 
    • Detecting and Managing Epidemics
    • The Search for Cures and Treatments
    • Social Responses to Disease

Diseases to Explore (Examples)

    • smallpox | bubonic plague | cholera | polio
    • syphilis | tuberculosis | malaria | influenza | dengue
    • yellow fever | leishmaniasis | hepatitis | mumps
    • meningitis | HIV/AIDS | cooties | chicken pox
    • obesity | smoking | type 2 diabetes

Historical Outbreaks to Research (Examples)

    • The Black Death | Plague of Justinian | Antonine Plague | Plague of Athens
    • Cholera epidemic of 1854 | Great Plague of London | Ebola outbreak of 2015|
    • Cocoliztli epidemics | the First and Second Cholera Pandemics
    • Third Plague Pandemic | 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic  
    • Avian Bird Flu of 1957 | H1N1 | SARS & MERS in the 21st century

Terms to Learn (Examples)

    • endemic | outbreak | pathogenicity | triage 
    • prevalence | incidence | retrovirus | incubation
    • infectious vs. lifestyle diseases | epidemiological transition
    • intervention | descriptive vs. analytic epidemiology
    • risk factors | cohort | zoonosis | fomite | latency | outlier
    • dependent vs. independent variables | false negative
    • agent | double blind trials | patient zero | chain of infection
    • droplet spread | herd immunity | morbidity | comorbidity
    • infant mortality | heterozygote advantage
    • Center for Disease Control

Additional Cases & Questions to Discuss