Content varies from quarter to quarter.
This course examines the problem of “global bad neighborhoods.” About 15 million (>25%) of 57 million annual deaths worldwide are estimated to be from infectious diseases. Previously, the majority of these diseases were dismissed as the problem of the developing countries, however globalization has evened the odds, and our communication hubs and massive supply chains serve as effective infectious disease distribution networks. To paraphrase the words of Thomas Friedman, “if you don’t visit the bad neighborhood, eventually it will come to you.” Despite billions of funding in national security and public health detection, gaps are as present as ever, resulting in failure to identify and mitigate such threats as SARS epidemic in 2003, H5N1 outbreaks in South East Asia 2004-2006, XDR-TB in South Africa in 2005 and many others. These events have had a profound global socio-economic and cultural impact and exposed a need for better early detection systems, persistent disease surveillance mechanisms, and a rethink of existing protocols for public-private information sharing, fusion and analysis.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Students will examine the phenomena with a critical eye for future applied solutions, both through means of public health and national security policy and of operational implementation. Students will also participate in a tabletop exercise, assuming identities of various elements of government and international public health organizations, which will expose them to a decision-making process based on realities of fast developing situations and emerging disease risks. Assignments include a White Paper, one Table Top exercise and a Final Exam.