About PH 6220 OL1

Zoonoses and vector-born disease account for the majority of emerging and re-emerging diseases. Covers the drivers that influence infection in animals and humans, tools used for disease monitoring and prevention, and policies and programs aimed at prevention. Cross-listed with: ABIO 6090.


Open to Graduate-level Public Health students only; All other students require instructor permission; Must submit the request at: http://go.uvm.edu/phcourses Students will be notified if permission is granted before classes begin; Contact student Advisor, Vika Pleshakova at vpleshak@uvm.edu with any questions; Asynchronous online; Cross listed with ABIO 6090 OL1

Section Description

Using a One Health perspective, the course provides an overview of zoonotic infectious diseases (those diseases in common between animals and humans), including rabies, potential bioterrorist agents (anthrax, plague, Q fever, tularemia), emerging diseases (COVID, Zika virus, Ebola, avian and swine influenza, West Nile virus, vCJD), and vector-borne diseases (lyme disease). The course focuses primarily on the epidemiologic method of investigation, and assessment of surveillance, prevention, control and treatment. Student work will emphasize emerging diseases associated with climate change, including those with an impact on global health. Course goals and objectives include: • Describe the clinical features, epidemiology, risk factors, and protective/control measures for multiple zoonoses and vector-borne diseases. • Explain the drivers of zoonotic infectious disease and the interaction between these factors. • Describe the public health tools used to prevent, detect, and control zoonoses and vector-borne diseases. • Explain how a One Health approach can be used to reduce zoonotic and vector-borne disease burden. • Create a communication piece for a targeted audience using surveillance and other data to communicate a specific health message.

Section Expectation

With a new module each week, students are expected to log into the course at a minimum once per week. Most weeks will emphasize reading information about a new type of zoonotic disease, discussing a question related to those diseases, discussing a new section of the semester-long outbreak exercise, and developing the communication products (fact sheet and slide set) for the additional disease chosen by the student. Each week will also include either a short online open book quiz about the week’s diseases, or a longer midterm or final exam. Some work can be done ahead of time but outbreak exercises will open up with new discussion questions each week. For a passing grade (C-), students will need to work at a minimum the same number of hours per week as the number of credits (3) which is equivalent to ‘in-class time’, plus an additional 3 hours to prepare for each week’s new materials. To earn a superior grade (higher than a C-) will require additional hours and logging in multiple times each week to earn additional points by more participation in the week’s discussions and for development of disease communication products. Required Text and/or Materials: This is an on-line, asynchronous course (students must participate online every week, but on each student’s individual timetable). Strategies may include readings, videos, discussion board postings, presentations, and guest speakers. Additionally, there will be a variety of readings incorporated into the course. Required Textbooks (purchase, rent, or borrow from UVM or other libraries Quammen, David. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic. Norton, WW & Co., Inc., 2013. (Available in multiple formats including paperback, ebook, and audiobook.) ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0393066807 Riegelman, Richard and Kirkwood, Brenda. One Health: From AIDS to Zika. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2nd edition; 2016 (only available in paperback). ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1284136746 Software: Learning Management System, Yellowdig, Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, VoiceThread Additional Equipment: Printer—Studies indicate that people can understand material more thoroughly if reading it in printed form. This is particularly helpful when proofreading your writing before submission. Other Materials: Speakers, headphones, or cell phone to hear and/or comment on audio or video recordings Optional text and/or Materials: Electronic class file (cloud or a backup drive); Physical binder for the class


Each student determines their own grade by their choice of the number of discussions to participate in and their level of effort on quizzes, exams, and communication products. Additional points may be awarded for exemplary quality on discussions through instructor’s badges (see below). There are a total of 1000 points to be earned throughout the semester. The numerator including all earned points earned will be divided by 10 to determine the final points on a 100 point (and percentage) scale. According to UVM, final letter grades will be awarded as follows: 97-100 A+; 93-96 A; 90-92 A-; 87-89 B+; 83-86 B; 80-82 B-; 77-79 C+; 73-76 C; 70-72 C-, <70 F. Note that there are no “D’s” given in graduate courses at UVM. Discussions: Up to 420 points (30 pts per week x 14 weeks). It is the student’s choice on how many points they want to earn. The discussion points will be automatically transferred into Blackboard. For most modules, discussion options include the disease topics being reviewed each week (each student chooses from suggested discussion questions) and a semester-long outbreak exercise. References are included in the required word count. These online interactions help foster discussions, as well as allow the class to get to know one another in a course where there are no in-person interactions. Posts should be professional and courteous. Yellowdig awards points at the end of the semester based on the percentage of total possible points earned each week by Sunday, 11:59 pm. Weekly maximum: 30 points Creating a new pin (discussion post), minimum 100 words: 10 points Adding a new comment on another student’s pin, minimum 40 words: 5 points Upvoting another student’s pin or comment with ‘like/love’: 1 point (for the student upvoting) Receiving a comment from another student on your pin: 1 points Receiving Instructor’s Badge: 2 points Multiple Instructor’s Badges may be awarded each week particularly for: • Exceptional pins: 3 references with one each from four types: class slide set, class website, class ‘handout’, or other student-found peer-reviewed journal article. The pin must be original wording (summarized and interpreted, not copied from sources). • First posted: Back-and-forth discussion benefits by students posting early each week, well before the deadline. An Instructor’s Badge will be awarded for the first student post each week that is sufficiently thoughtful and substantive to potentially kick off further discussion. • New information: Class topics are wide and complex. An Instructor’s Badget can be awarded for a post that contributes something new and substantive to the course, for example, links and discussion of sources not included in course materials. Quizzes: Up to 178 points. In addition to one 2 point Academic Integrity Quiz, there will be 11 weekly open-book quizzes related to the required material in that week’s module, for modules 1-6 and 9-13. Each weekly quiz will have 8 questions, each worth 2 points, for a total of 16 quiz points to earn each week on the diseases covered that week. Exams: Up to 202 points. There will be a 50-question midterm exam and a 51-question final exam, with each question worth 2 points. The mid-term exam will have questions from required material in modules 1-6 and the final exam will have questions from required material in modules 9-13. Communication Products: Up to 200 points. Each student is required to develop a fact sheet and slide set from the disease of their choice, but it must be from the limited list provided by the instructor. The communication products will have the focus of educating a broad audience including the general public and medical/public health professionals on the potential impact of climate change on the disease chosen. Each communication product can earn up to 100 points on quality. Communication products will be submitted mid-semester for initial instructor grading to guide students in edits for the final submission and regrading for the course.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

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PH 6220 OL1 is closed to new enrollment.

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