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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ronald F. Di Giacomo
EPI 526
Seattle Campus

Epidemiology of Diseases Communicable from Nature

Explores the public health aspects of zoonotic diseases, their epidemiology and approaches to control. Focuses on the major viral, rickettsial, bacterial, protozoal, helminthic, and fungal diseases transmitted from wild and domesticated animals to humans. Prerequisite: EPI 511, EPI 512, or EPI 520 or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with C MED 526; Sp.

Class description

This course will explore the public health aspects of zoonotic diseases, their epidemiology, ecology and approaches to control. The course will highlight examples of the major viral, rickettsial, bacterial, protozoal, parasitic, and fungal infections transmitted from wild and domesticated animals to humans, especially in the context of outbreak investigations and disease prevention. Since the course covers diseases transmissible from animals to humans, it provides additional training in the epidemiology of infectious diseases for persons pursing careers in public health and related disciplines. The course is intended for graduate students. Students should have already taken basic courses in epidemiology, e.g., Epidemiology 511, 512, 513 and an infectious disease epidemiology course, e.g., Epidemiology 520 or their equivalents. Otherwise, students should obtain the permission of the instructor. A helpful review for the course would be to read chapters 3 (37-61) and 9 (197-208) in Epidemiologic Methods. Studying the Occurrence of Illness by Koepsell, T. & Weiss, N.

Student learning goals

You should be able to describe basic features of the most important zoonoses.

You should be able to discuss the modes of transmission of zoonotic diseases from animals/birds to humans and how this spread is influenced by characteristics of the hosts, vectors and infectious agents.

You should be able to explain how zoonotic diseases are controlled.

You should be able to describe the various methods of investigation for these diseases, for both epidemic (outbreaks) and endemic cases.

You should be able to analyze and interpret published articles of zoonotic diseases.

General method of instruction

You can access course materials through the web site above. You are expected to read the appropriate chapters in the course textbook (listed below) and the article(s) assigned prior to class. A week prior to each class, we will usually distribute learning objectives, issues, points or questions relative to the public health significance, epidemiology, ecology, transmission and/or control of the disease(s) to be covered, which will serve to focus the discussion. For four class sessions, there will be assignments to be handed in at the time of the session for evaluation and grading (more below). You should be prepared to discuss the assignment in class. You are encouraged to formulate questions from the readings to be discussed in class. The Presenter may provide information relative to trends, problems and concepts of control to introduce the topic. It is anticipated that the class sessions will take the form of an interactive discussion. Participation in the discussion by all students is strongly encouraged.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


There will be two evaluations of articles. These are called Zoonotic Agents Select Topics. For the first evaluation, you will be assigned an article to review and for the second evaluation, you will select an article. The same standard set of questions used for the assignments will be used to review the articles. The evaluation will be due at the time of the session and you will also present this review during the session. For these sessions you will be paired with someone in the class. This pairing will be different for each of the sessions. Evaluations will be graded and returned a week later.


Attendance at class sessions is expected and participation in discussions is encouraged.


Your final grade will be based on the assignments (10% each), article evaluation (25% each) and class participation (10%).

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Angelica M. Buck
Date: 06/26/2008