Free, online Ebola course offers a broad look at the epidemic

By Melva Robertson | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | March 5, 2015

Instructors Carlos Del Rio and Dabney Evans, both of the Rollins School of Public Health, describe the six-week Coursera course, "Ebola: An Evolving Epidemic."

Carlos Del Rio and Linda Dabney

Course co-directors Carlos Del Rio and Dabney Evans

Emory University will offer an online overview course on the evolving Ebola epidemic and its various aspects including disease, prevention, management and treatment, response, ethical considerations, communications and a post-Ebola global health landscape.

The course is available via Coursera—an online, educational platform that offers free professional development courses. The six-week course is offered March 31 through May 11. 

"Ebola: An Evolving Epidemic," takes a broad look at the West African Ebola epidemic that led headlines in 2014. Since the outset of the epidemic, the disease claimed nearly 5,000 lives in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. A small number of cases were treated in the United States, with four patients successfully treated by the Emory University Hospital staff.

"We are really excited about the course and truly believe that it will be a terrific aid to the education of a broad audience on this topic," explains Carlos Del Rio, MD, course co-director along with Dabney Evans, PhD, MPH, both of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory.

The course is intended for a general audience. Some public health and/or medical background is helpful but not mandatory. Those interested in enrolling in the six-week course may sign up at www.coursera.org/course/ebola 

"Because we have made such tremendous strides in our Ebola research, it is important to share our knowledge and lessons learned in order to dispel myths and eliminate unnecessary panic," Del Rio continues. "This Coursera course is a great way to accomplish this task."