I participated in Imperial College London’s school outreach programme by doing an intro to infectious disease epidemiology with a group of year 10-12 students (age 15-18) (you can download my slides here). It was hugely rewarding and highly recommended for anybody considering supporting this sort of work. The group were sharp, good fun, and asked good questions – and perhaps included one of the next generation of infectious disease epidemiologists?
I started where all good sessions on ID epi should start: in a desperate attempt to get down wid the kids, with Jon Snow. Once we had moved on from Game of Thrones, we talked about the other, older John Snow and the Broad Street Pump (just down the road in Soho). I couldn’t find a simple classification of infectious diseases, so I made a very non-technical version grouped neither by organism, nor by clinical manifestion – but grouped by the buckets that I thought would make most sense to young adults (shared here in case it’s helpful for others too):
It took quite some time for me to decide what to cover with such a broad topic (thanks to those of you who answered my call for help Twitter), but managed to get it down to:
- Vaccines (and yes, got the usual anti-vax crap on Twitter).
- Antibiotics & HCAI (it was helpful that the session was in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building)!
- Crapsules (always good for dinner party chat and a cheap laugh).
- Applied research (why we need it and why it’s fun).
- Disease Detectives (I ran though this Zombie Preparedness exercise with the group, which was excellent).
- Why ID / epi needs you (a bit about career paths and my own journey).
Finally, again with the help of Tweeps, I collated some resources that I’ve shared below:
|BBC Bitesize||Seeing the unseen bacteria on hands|
|CDC Zombie Preparedness||Educational epi games and resources|
|CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service||Where “Disease Detectives” are made in America|
|e-Bug||Educational resources for HCAI and AMR aimed at school children|
|ECDC Disease Atlas||European data on HCAI indicators and AMR|
|ICL HCAI & AMR school resources||Resources for school activities from Imperial College London|
|Institute of Biomedical Sciences||The professional body for biomedical scientists and support staff.|
|PHE AMR Fingertips portal||English data on HCAI indicators|
|PHE infectious diseases index||Alphabetical index of infectious diseases|
|PHE Field Epidemiology Service||Where “Disease Detectives” are make in the UK|
|Reflections on IPC blog||Weekly (ish) blog on applied HCAI and AMR epidemiology|
|Vomiting Larry||This ‘friendly’ mannequin shows us what happens when we puke…|
|WHO infectious diseases pages||Information about infectious diseases from the WHO|
One thought on “Infectious disease epidemiology 101”
that was a fun one with great ideas for future education sessions.