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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James C Whorton
MHE 417
Seattle Campus

Disease in History

Study of Western civilization's experience with epidemic disease, the growth of understanding of the causes of disease, the formation of a philosophy of prevention, and the development of programs to protect the public health. Emphasis on the last two centuries. Medical background not required.

Class description

This course will survey the history of infectious disease in Western society, from antiquity to the present, and society’s response to epidemics (including the growth of understanding of the causes of disease, the formation of a philosophy of prevention, and the development of programs to protect the public health. Emphasis will be placed on the last two centuries. Medical background is not required.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Instruction will be accomplished through informal lecture and discussion, backed by reading in the text.

Recommended preparation

Assignments will be limited to the text. Grades will be based on performance on two exams utilizing a format of short discussion questions.

Class assignments and grading

Text: On course reserve at the Health Sciences library

COURSE OUTLINE

PART I: Infectious Disease

I. Epidemics and Public Health Before the Nineteenth Century [Rosen, ch. 1-5]

A. God, Contagion, and Miasma: The Ancient Origins of Epidemiology

B. The Black Death: Beginnings of Public Health

C. Smallpox: Variolation, Vaccination, and Changing Attitudes Toward Prevention

D. Yellow Fever: The Triumph of Miasma Theory

II. Epidemic Disease in the Nineteenth Century [Rosen, ch. 6-7]

A. Typhus and Tuberculosis: Industrialization, Urbanization, and the Deterioration of Living Conditions

B. Asiatic Cholera

C. The Sanitary Reform Movement

D. Germ Theory and the Modernization of Epidemiology

III. Infectious Disease in the Twentieth Century [Rosen, ch. 8]

A. “The New Public Health” 1. Triumphs: Yellow Fever, Plague, and Hookworm 2. Failures: Venereal Disease and Influenza

B. Polio

PART II: Chemical Threats to Health

I. Poisons in the Workplace: Occupational Health

II. Adulteration of Food and Drugs

PART III: Other Diseases

I. Avitaminoses: Scurvy, Rickets, Beri-Beri, Pellagra

II. Heart Disease, Cancer, and Tobaccosis

Grades will be based on performance on two exams utilizing a format of short discussion questions.


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.
Web site for MHE 417
Last Update by Amber L Curtis
Date: 12/16/2002