Global Infections and Personal Health Infectious diseases, caused by harmful microbes (mainly viruses and bacteria), have been affecting humanity throughout history at epidemic and pandemic levels. The course examines the history of infectious diseases, the science underlying them, how the choices we make in our lives affect the spread of global infections, and what our obligations are as global citizens to control this spread. From time to time, we hear about newly emerging and reemerging diseases. Zika, a recent epidemic that emerged in South America, is causing birth defects. The Spanish flu of 1918 cost more lives than both World Wars, yet most Americans did not know about it until 2009, when a milder variant of H1N1 affected a younger population. Will history repeat itself? Will it be another flu virus of which we need to be vigilant or will it be a totally new virus for which we are not prepared? How do these new viruses evolve? Looking at more recent diseases, the world could bring a stop to Ebola spread in Africa, but will we be lucky next time? By investigating these questions, we can come up with an agenda to improve our personal health by paying attention to our riskier behaviors that favor the transmission of infectious disease. Topics include emerging viral infections, antibiotic-resistance, nosocomial infections, and travel advisories and their contribution to global infections.




As a ConnCourse, this class will make connections across the liberal arts.

Registration Restrictions

Not open to students who have taken FYS 106D Epidemics.

Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 24 students.