Saturday, March 19, 2011

MSc Advanced Module 5- Epidemiology and Health Control

The fifth module in the MSc course was titled ‘Epidemiology and Health Control’ and was taught principally by Jimmy Turnbull and Darren Green, with supplementary lectures from Randolph Richards, Andy Shinn, Sandra Adams, and Kim Thompson.  This was a veterinary class which focused on the spread of aquatic diseases and parasites and how outbreaks of disease may be controlled.

The majority of this course was lectures and seminars: main topics included fish welfare, biosecurity, risk management, pharmacology and treatment, and statistical analysis.  Several labs were also conducted, on such topics as immunochemistry, histopathology, virology, and parasitology.

Statistics were heavily emphasized: the assessment for the course was a report on the statistical analysis of a disease outbreak at a series of shrimp farms.  This assessment took real data gathered at shrimp farms and had us using statistical software to analyse a variety of factors, such as source of feed, use of antibiotics, source of water, etc.  Through a variety of statistical tests, it was our job to determine which, if any, factors were significantly associated with the disease, and if so, propose recommendations as to how to control the outbreak.

This course was a requirement for the students taking Aquatic Veterinary and Pathobiology studies, and as such it was taught at a seemingly advanced medical level.  However, the material was incredibly interesting, and I feel as if I have a much firmer grasp of diseases, disease transmission, and maybe more importantly, mitigation.

The next and final module of the MSc course is Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which is a subject that I have never had the opportunity to take but have been looking forward to for several years! 

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