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Welcome to the Course

Watch Dr. Alicia Demirjian teach children and young people about hygiene, infection, and antibiotics.
Hello and welcome to the e-Bug e-learning course. I’m Dr. Alicia Demirjian, an epidemiologist at Public Health England and lead for e-Bug. I’m also a doctor who specialises in infections in children and a member of BSAC. E-Bug helps children and young people from 4 to 18 years to learn about hygiene, infections, and antibiotics. Despite the fact that most infections in this age group are self-resolving, children receive a lot of antibiotics. And antibiotics, like all medicines, have side effects, so it is crucial to use them responsibly. E-Bug helps understand how this all works. E-bug was launched in 2009 and resources have been translated into 24 languages. All resources are free to use and download and have links to the UK national curriculum.
There are also materials for students, like games and fact files. We keep brainstorming for ideas on fun and interactive ways it can be used for teaching. Let’s go through the course now. This course will follow a similar structure to our Beat the Bugs community resource. Week one is an introduction to microbes. We will cover bacteria, viruses, and fungi. We’ll then talk about the spread of infection through our hands and sneezes. In week two, we’ll look at food hygiene and preparing food safely in the kitchen. We’ll then move on to oral hygiene. You’ll hear about sugar and food and drinks and tooth decay. Last but not least, in week three we’ll cover antibiotics in more detail.
We will talk about antibiotic resistance and how we can look after ourselves better. We would like you to use of course to refresh your knowledge on these topics. And whilst you are moving through the materials, we hope to motivate you to use the e-Bug activities in real life. We welcome your feedback throughout the course and hope you will enjoy the coming weeks.

Welcome to the e-Bug Health Educator Training course, thank you for joining us!

This is a three-week course on e-Bug, a free educational resource operated by Public Health England (PHE) to help educators teach children and young people about hygiene, infection and antibiotics.

You can find out more about e-Bug here, or you can access this in the downloads section below.

This course is also available in Welsh. If you would like to sign up to this course in Welsh please click here.

In March 2020 e-Bug also launched the Antibiotic Guardian Youth Badge Leader and Volunteer Activity Pack. This new resource summarises some key e-Bug activities for those supporting home-learning or working with small groups of children. Click here to access this resource.

The aim of this week is to increase your knowledge, skills and confidence to teach children and young people about microbes, and improve their ability to practice key hand and respiratory hygiene behaviours that should limit the spread of harmful microbes.

  • We will start by going through some facts about microbes, where they can be found, and how the spread of infection occurs through our hands, coughs and sneezes.
  • You will learn about ways in which you can teach these topics to children and young people using practical activities, in conjunction with the corresponding school and community packs for the relevant age groups.

The layout of the course for each week will focus on background information for specific topics and then activities and tools that educators can use to communicate key messages to children and young people.

Please find a glossary of terms under the downloads section at the bottom of the page, which you can use throughout the course.

Learning outcomes for Week 1:

By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • Explain to children and young people that microbes live everywhere and come in different shapes and sizes using: lesson plans, games and activities.
  • Describe to children and young people how some microbes can be useful and some microbes can be harmful through activities and demonstrations.
  • Demonstrate to children and young people how microbes are transmitted from person to person through our hands using practical hand hygiene activities.
  • Demonstrate that covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing can prevent the spread of infection through the practical demonstration of a “giant sneeze”.
  • Explain to children and young people the six steps of handwashing and how they can perform these steps appropriately to prevent the spread of infection to family, friends and the community.

You can use the progress page to see how you are doing in the course.

Membership to the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) is free and a great way to keep up-to-date with antimicrobial resistance and stewardship practices.

If you work with early years children, you may wish to sign up to the BSAC and PHE FutureLearn course ‘Preventing and Managing Infections in Childcare and Pre-school’.

Using FutureLearn Courses

If you are new to FutureLearn courses, click here for a guide on how to engage with the course. Learners are encouraged to introduce themselves and to participate in course discussions and quizzes. Any comments left by users can be viewed by all learners. We encourage you to interact with other learners by ‘liking’ and replying to their comments.

We value your input and would encourage you to let us know your opinions in the comments on this course. If you have any technical problems on the platform, please use the grey ‘Support’ button in the bottom right-hand corner of every step.

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

This course has been approved by The Royal College of Pathologists at a level of 6 credits. The RCPath CPD approval process is in line with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges standards and criteria for CPD activities framework guidance. Reciprocity has been agreed between colleges/faculties for all approved activities.

Please note all who submit their details to the RCP to claim CPD, agree that FutureLearn may need to share their data, including their progress on the course, with RCP for the purposes of auditing / offering CPD.


We hope you enjoy the course and look forward to meeting you and seeing your comments in discussions.

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