Epidemics II

3 Weeks 2 - 3 hours each week

Please select the start dates for your courses below.

Scheduled Start:

Course Overview

With supplementary module on COVID-19
Including our study results, final size estimation for superspreading clusters, the Chinese experience for global preparedness, and more.

“If history is our guide, we can assume that the battle between the intellect and will of the human species and the extraordinary adaptability of microbes will be never-ending.” (1)

Despite all the remarkable technological breakthroughs that we have made over the past few decades, the threat from infectious diseases has significantly accelerated. In this course, we will learn why this is the case by looking at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century.

This is the second (spread of infectious diseases) of the four courses, covers these topics:

  • Basic Concepts in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Triangle: The Pathogen, The Host and The Environment
  • Evidence Synthesis
  • Infectious Disease Modelling


What You’ll Learn

  • Epidemic Curve
  • Timescale of Disease Transmission
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case1: Myxoma Virus)
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case 2: Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • The Pathogen: Evolution (Case 3: Antimicrobial Resistance)
  • The Host: How Age Affects Disease Transmission and Severity
  • The Host: Sexual Mixing
  • The Environment
  • Uncertainty in Modeling (Dynamic Uncertainty, Parametric Uncertainty)
  • Uncertainty in Modeling (Structural Uncertainty, Scenario Uncertainty)

Meet Your Instructors

Gabriel M. Leung

Professor at The University of Hong Kong Gabriel Leung is Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He is also Chair Professor in the School of Public Health and honorary consultant in family medicine and primary care. Previously he was Head of the Department of Community Medicine. Gabriel Leung served in government as Hong Kong’s first Under Secretary for Food and Health and fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office. He regularly advises various national and international agencies including the World Health Organization, World Bank and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Joseph Wu

Professor at The University of Hong Kong Joseph Wu leads the infectious disease modeling research at the HKU School of Public Health. His primary research is on influenza epidemiology and control, particularly focusing on pandemic preparedness and response. His work primarily entails developing mathematical models to assess the potential benefits and logistical requirement of influenza epidemic mitigation and surveillance strategies. He is a member of the Scientific Committee for the Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong. Joseph Wu is an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Communicable Diseases Dynamics (CCDD) at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the coordinator of the annual CCDD infectious disease modeling course.

Guan Yi

Professor at The University of Hong Kong
Professor Guan is Director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the ecology, evolution and pathogenesis of influenza and other emerging respiratory viruses. Over the past decade, his research team has made distinguished contributions to research in virology and to the control of emerging infectious diseases in China and the world. His work on SARS led to the successful identification of the SARS-Coronavirus, its infectious source from live animal markets, and helped the Chinese Government successfully avert the second SARS outbreak in early 2004.

Malik Peiris

Professor at The University of Hong Kong Professor Malik Peiris is a clinical and public health virologist at HKU with a particular interest in emerging virus disease at the animal-human interface. His research has provided understanding on the pathogenesis of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus and on avian influenza viruses H5N1, H9N2 and H7N9. He played a key role in the discovery of the novel SARS-coronavirus. Malik Peiris coordinates a multi-disciplinary Area of Excellence Program in Hong Kong on the “Control of Pandemic and Inter-pandemic Influenza”. He is an investigator in the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program of the US National Institutes of Health. He also co-directs the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory at HKU.


3 Weeks

Experience Level


Learning Partner

University of Hong Kong


Health & Safety Medicine Science