Watch An Introduction to Infectious Diseases

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Infectious diseases affect everyone. They account for 26% of all deaths worldwide, and unlike chronic diseases, they have the potential for explosive global impacts. In An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, get an accessible overview of diseases--from the mundane to the fatal--from a renowned physician who specializes in this topic.

An Introduction to Infectious Diseases is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on May 1, 2015.

An Introduction to Infectious Diseases is available for streaming on the The Great Courses website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch An Introduction to Infectious Diseases on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, The Roku Channel online.

The Great Courses
1 Season, 24 Episodes
May 1, 2015
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An Introduction to Infectious Diseases Full Episode Guide

  • Using your newly acquired infectious disease knowledge, look into the future and discern what the next pandemic might be--one that would reach all continents quickly, be difficult to treat, be extremely deadly, and perhaps threaten the very survival of the human race!

  • The outbreak of Ebola in 2014 in West Africa became an international crisis in a matter of weeks--even traveling across the ocean to the United States. Explore deadly emerging and reemerging diseases that continually challenge our detection and response abilities.

  • Explore the three scenarios that pose the greatest threats in a bioterrorism attack: an airborne agent like anthrax, a smallpox attack, and a release of botulinum toxin in cold drinks. Understand the steps that the CDC takes to protect the public and what you can do as an average citizen.

  • Despite being a common disease, the flu is responsible for some of the deadliest pandemics of all time. Explore two important biological aspects of influenza--antigenic drift and antigenic shift--to understand why changes in viruses can have such a huge impact on disease prevalence.

  • Witness the toll infectious diseases take on populations during times of war and natural disasters, using examples from Napoleon's armies to modern-day Syria. Then, learn why your personal physician isn't the best person to talk to about risks when you're about to embark on foreign travel.

  • In spite of a multitude of global efforts to decrease their mortality rates, these two ancient diseases are still the deadliest in the world. Go beyond vaccines and mosquito netting and see the innovative experiments being conducted in an attempt to eradicate malaria and tuberculosis.

  • More than three decades after the first cases of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were reported, the global health community is still dealing with a pandemic of 33 million infected people, of which about 3 million are children. Learn the scientific facts behind this virus and why it is so difficult to find a vaccine or cure.

  • Go behind the scenes at a hospital, and unveil the truth: what is perceived as a pristine and sterile environment is really bustling with all kinds of germs. Discover why some hospitals forbid their doctors to wear white coats and wedding rings, and learn what you can do to protect yourself if you must be hospitalized.

  • Begin this lecture with a fascinating story of a twist of fate in 1951 that turned out to be one of the most important developments in medical history. Then, study infections that attack the urinary tract and pelvic organs, and learn more about the wide range of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Continue your study of the body with infections that affect the skin and bloodstream, including the powerful sepsis infection, which is responsible for 10% of deaths in the United States. Get the facts on necrotizing fasciitis, or "flesh-eating bacteria," and travel back 40 years to follow the evolution of the resistant bacteria MRSA.

  • Turn now to severe respiratory and central nervous system illnesses that may have deadly consequences. Zoom in to the cellular level to see how complicated these infections can be, and how deadly pneumonia and bacterial meningitis can become. Learn to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia and meningitis, and when to seek medical attention.

  • From traveler's diarrhea to food poisoning, explore a myriad of illnesses that can enter the body through the food you eat. Gain an awareness of a severe bacterial infection that is on the rise in hospitals, particularly in patients over age 65.

  • These small ectoparasites have emerged in force and have created a new public health crisis. Discover why tick-borne diseases are so easy to contract but difficult to diagnose, and get the facts about Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness in the United States.

  • Seventy percent of infectious diseases originate from wildlife. Why are new diseases--such as bird flu and swine flu--so prevalent, and how are these exotic diseases being transmitted from animals to humans? Learn how to protect yourself from these diseases, including two you can get from your cat.

  • Take a closer look at the intricate components of your body that try to protect you from dangerous infectious diseases. Then, explore immunosenescence--the changes in your immune system as you age--and learn proven ways to keep your immune system strong and prevent illness.

  • From routine childhood vaccinations to the experimental vaccines given to Ebola patients in Africa and the United States, vaccines have a powerful effect on public health. Learn the facts about the four different types of vaccines and their components, and discover why the concept of herd immunity is critical to public health.

  • Track the history of infectious diseases decade by decade: the easily cured childhood illnesses of the 50s, the diseases spread by risky behaviors in the 60s, and the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in the late 70s, followed by the tragedies of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, in the 80s and 90s.

  • Microbes are all around us--the question is "What do we have to worry about?" From airplanes to restaurants, hotel rooms to your master bathroom, learn how you can protect yourself from germs without becoming totally obsessed with them. Is there any truth to the Five Second Rule? Find out in this lecture.

  • Trace the history of antibiotic development and explore how the eight classes of antibiotics attack bacterial infections. Gain an introduction to the increasingly important concern of antibiotic resistance, and learn how you can contribute to the more prudent use of antibiotics.

  • Where would we be without the scientists that brought to life the inventions and discoveries that are the foundations of modern medicine? In this lecture, meet some of the people who developed the tools to identify microorganisms, the means to pinpoint the source of a disease, the vaccinations to prevent them, and the drugs to treat them.

  • Zoom in to see a particle 100 times smaller than bacteria: the virus, which can replicate inside living cells. Follow the life cycle of a virus as you see what viruses like HIV and Ebola do to host cells. Meet two germs that fall between bacteria and viruses--the spirochete and rickettsia.

  • Start your study of the basic elements of germ theory with bacteria. Once you've inspected the anatomy of a bacterium cell and its function, explore how bacteria can cause disease and how they can adapt to make themselves elusive to your immune system. Then, investigate three diseases caused by bacteria: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus.