Fighting epidemics with knowledge: HKU’s new free online course to open in March

As new coronavirus COVID-19 sweeps across the world, social media frenzy has often triggered misinformation and created panic. Epidemics call for not just appropriate public health measures but equally effective communication. Misinformation worsens an epidemic and enabling public access to correct information can minimize panic.  

A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by the HKU, to be launched next month, hopes to enable a better public response to epidemics in this regard. The course, titled Epidemics II, will be available on e-learning platform edX from 19 March 2020. This is in continuation of Epidemics I, the first in the series that was launched last year by HKU’s School of Public Health of the Medical College.  

Since 2014 the HKU has launched a suite of MOOC courses on edX. You can see the full list here – https://www.edx.org/school/hkux. Over three weeks, Epidemics II will allow you to learn the theory of infectious diseases and preventive control measures.

The course covers the principles of epidemiology, the use of epidemiological triangle models to explore prevention methods, and the use of epidemiological transmission models to estimate the peak period of infection and the number of people infected. Extra-curricular discussions will also use COVID-19 as a case study. 

The Epidemics II course has no prerequisites. Everyone is welcome to participate. For details and registration, visit https://hku.to/epidemicsii.

For a more rounded understanding, start by enrolling in Epidemics I here – https://www.edx.org/course/epidemics-i.

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