PATH 477 (3 cr): Basic Epidemiology for Infection Control

PATH 477

This course is delivered online in a Problem-Based Learning format and will require that students have a computer with at least a 56K modem to connect to the Internet, a CD-ROM drive, and an Email address.

Prerequisite: Pathology 427 or instructor permission required.

Course Description

This course explores fundamental concepts in epidemiology, biostatistics for epidemiology, study design and analysis and outbreak investigation as it applies to institutional infection control. Surveillance techniques, data collection and management and critical review of the literature will be covered.

Intended Student

This course will be of interest to people who wish to pursue a career in infection prevention and control within the health sector.  The course may be taken as an elective course towards a Masters in Epidemiology with the permission of the individual’s University Department.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, the student will:

  • have a basic understanding of epidemiological and biostatistical principles;
  • be able to apply this knowledge to analysis of common infection control problems;
  • be able to communicate their ideas in a written format;
  • become adept at retrieving and assimilating information from a variety of electronic and text sources;
  • learn to solve problems as a group.

Course Outline

Case 1 Introduction to Epidemiologic Thinking and Measurement
Case 2 Statistical Language for Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation
Case 3 Surveillance of Sentinel Events
Case 4 Outbreak Investigation and Causation
Case 5 Study Designs
Case 6 Critical Evaluation of the Medical Literature
Case 7 Infection Control Continuum: Acute Care to the Community

Course Evaluation:

Assessment will be accomplished at the end of each on-line lesson by an evaluation of the quality of the answers presented to the instructors and the level of participation by the student.  A portion of the overall mark will be allotted for participation in the group discussion of the lesson material.  A final examination (consisting of a case with associated questions) will be administered on-line through an approved proctor.

  • Participation = 30%
  • Assignments = 40%
  • Final = 30%


Gordis, L. Epidemiology (with Student Consult Online Access). 4th ed., Saunders, 2008.  ISBN:


Heyman, D. L. Ed. (2009) Control of Communicable Diseases Manual. 19th ed. Am. Public Health Assoc., Wash. D.C.

PATH477 Textbook Order Form


Dr. David Patrick: Dr. Patrick holds an MD, Masters of Health Science, FRCPC (Internal Med and Infectious Disease)

Dr. Monika Naus: Dr. Naus holds an MD, Masters of Health Science, FACPM and FRCPC (Community Medicine)

Dr. Bonnie Henry: Dr. Henry holds an MD, Masters in Public Health, FACPM and FRCPC (Community Medicine)

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