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Online course

Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Public Health Dimensions

An introduction to public health and wider responses to high-risk biological agent events, epidemics and bioterrorism.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Public Health Dimensions

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Why join the course?

As our understanding of biology and disease has increased, so has our ability to manipulate both, leading to serious concerns about protecting and maintaining public health. High risk biological agent events, epidemics and bioterrorism are issues we are increasingly facing in the 21st century.

This course will introduce you to some of these topics and concerns - examining the basics of biosecurity. It will help you understand how diseases spread and how we can use health intelligence to inform how we can manage issues of biosecurity.

Learn about identifying biosecurity events

In order to manage biosecurity events effectively it’s crucial to understand them. We’ll look at the basic principles of infectious disease investigation, epidemiology and communicable disease response. We’ll also work on examining the differences between natural versus unnatural patterns of infectious disease.

Understand how to analyse health intelligence in the event of a biosecurity threat

In today’s world vast amounts of data are generated in healthcare. We’ll look at how this intelligence can be interpreted and analysed in relation to biosecurity events.

Finally, we’ll look at public health concerns related to biosecurity and bioterrorism events and evaluate the basic control measures for responding to such events. In doing this we’ll review some of the policy and ethical concerns related to contemporary biosecurity.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsWe're scared, Alex. We're days away from a full blown riot. So you came halfway across the city with good news? I run The Truth. Mute this. No common link between the clusters. Terrorism? It presents just as big a threat as bombings, or rogue gunmen. My wife is sick. She's in quarantine. I need to send a unit to the address. Nobody kills 100 people just to kill 100 people. You do it to send a message. You do it to make a point. The most likely cause is severe flu. She's one of the few people working on a vaccine. I believe she's already developed it. It's a death toll update. It's bigger than I thought.

What topics will you cover?

  • Basic concepts of infectious disease investigation
  • Basic concepts of infectious disease epidemiology
  • Basic concepts of infectious disease public health response
  • Outline of communicable disease response
  • Introduction to biosecurity
  • Introduction to bioterrorism and biological agent outbreaks or events
  • The general features of response to biosecurity and bioterrorism events
  • Historical examples of biosecurity and bioterrorism events
  • Health intelligence for the investigation and management of biosecurity and bioterrorism events
  • Introduction to policy, regulatory and ethical concerns related to biosecurity and bioterrorism

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Explain the basic principles of infectious disease investigation, epidemiology and public health response.
  • Explain the basic principles of communicable disease response.
  • Reflect on the differences between different types of bioterrorism and biological agent outbreaks or events.
  • Identify the most important public health concerns, and the general response, to biosecurity and bioterrorism events.
  • Reflect on the importance of health intelligence for the investigation and management of biosecurity and bioterrorism events.
  • Debate basic policy and ethical concerns relating to contemporary biosecurity.

Who is the course for?

This course has no special requirements but might be of special interest to policy makers, security agencies, military personnel, first line responders, health professionals and academics.

Who will you learn with?

David Heslop

My name is Dr David Heslop MD. I am an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. I have interests in CBRN medicine, and health systems design and research

David Muscatello

I am an epidemiologist with a primary focus on estimating the burden of influenza in the population, time series analysis in public health and syndromic surveillance and early outbreak detection.

Raina MacIntyre

Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Head, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology.

Who developed the course?

Established in 1949 with a unique focus on the scientific, technological and professional disciplines, UNSW is a leading Australian university committed to making a difference

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $79 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.