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Course Description
Winter Quarter 2013

Last Updated
1 December 2012


Course Description:  From the dawn of human history until the present day humans and animals around the world have been sharing their pathogens and diseases. Typhus, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Bubonic Plague, Dengue, etc. have all affected the course of history and their causative agents continue to be present in our environment, along with new “plagues” like Hantavirus, Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus. This course takes a global perspective as once local diseases or newly emerging diseases can be spread around the world thanks to our increasingly mobile population and the rapid movement of goods and services around the globe.

Zoonotic diseases are diseases affecting human populations in which one or more animals play a significant role in their causation or transmission.  Many diseases involve an intermediary living organism or vector which plays an important role in the transmission cycle between the pathogenic organism and the human victim.  This course examines zoonotic and vector-borne disease of historic and current importance in the United States and around the world. We will study the impact of rodent and arthropod vectors of disease — including those of historical importance as well as endemic and emerging diseases.  Identification, surveillance and control methods will be examined with attention paid to pesticide use, regulation and safety measures.

Course  Objectives:  It is intended that at the completion of this course, each student should be able to:
1. describe, in general terms, the cause(s), signs, symptoms, and importance of the zoonotic or vector borne diseases of public health significance -- regionally, nationally and internationally;
2. identify the major species of rodents (rats and mice) that are important from a public health perspective and describe the geographic range and distribution patterns for each;
3. describe the behavioral characteristics of rodents related to the identification and control of rodent problems;
4. identify rodent signs, indicating the species and extent of a rodent infestation;
5. describe the characteristics of a community rodent control program and the steps in planning and implementing a program and conducting a rat survey;
describe the life cycle, anatomy, role in disease transmission, and control measures for: mosquitoes and other flies, cockroaches, ticks, lice and fleas;
7. describe the typical habitats preferred by important arthropod disease vectors;
8. relate this information to arthropod identification and control;
9. conduct a survey of potential arthropod habitats;
10. define Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and use IPM principles to design and carry out an appropriate surveillance, monitoring and control program for at least one zoonotic or vector-borne disease problem:
11. describe the physical form, mode of entry, application, and the mode of action for major pesticides used in public health vector control;
12. describe the role of state and federal agencies in regulating pesticides and the legislation regulating pesticides; and, and,

13. describe and follow the safety measures necessary in the use of particular pesticides in order protect non-target organism (including humans) and the environment.

Course Requirements:

1. Examinations. There will be a mid-term and final examination worth 100 points each.

2. Class Project/Term Paper.  The class will be divided into several teams that will conduct an actual rodent survey of a Seattle neighborhood.  Each group will prepare a final report in which you present the results of your survey, characterizing the nature and extent of the rodent problems found and presenting detailed recommendations for corrective action(s).  Your recommendations need to be supported by appropriate literature documenting the appropriateness of your methods to the problems which you have identified.

Each paper should be typed with appropriate end notes, bibliography including all references used.  Copies of your block record sheets and summary sheets should be appended to your report.  The information you present and your bibliography should reflect your ability to search the library and obtain relevant information from many sources, including scientific/professional journals, trade journals, and government reports.  Use of only one or two references (or only references from internet sites) is not considered adequate or acceptable.   This is an exercise in report writing typical of the type of reports which a environmental health practitioner is expected to be able to routinely produce.

Format:  You do not need to use a cover but must have a title page.  Make sure all of your names, the class, the date and the title of your report are included on the title page and follow this with the text, bibliography, and appendices.  Include page numbers after the first page.  Staple the report in the upper left hand corner.  You should not use type larger than 12 point (or smaller than 10), triple space, or wide margins.

Evaluation of Papers:  Your paper will be evaluated on the following points:
a. Data collection, organization, analysis and synthesis;
b. Appropriateness of your recommendation; and,
c. Organization, general composition, spelling, and use of citations, bibliography and end notes.

3. Class participation. This class will be conducted as a seminar in which student will need to read the assigned materials before coming to class in order to be able participate in the discussions and exercises. The class will work together in teams to examine a particular aspect of the course content, solve a problem or conduct an activity.

Up to 50 points will be added to your total points. Points will be lost because you were unable able to respond in class to questions covering the reading or study question assigned for the day, or for not participating in class discussions.

4. Grade.  Your course grade will be based on the total number of points you accumulate during the quarter: points accumulated divided by 350.

5. Disability.  If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543-8924 (V/TDD).  If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss the accommodations you might need for class.

Course Materials:

1. Textbooks

a. Rozendall JA. Vector control. Methods for use by individuals and communities Geneva, World Health Organization, 1997. ISBN 92 4 154494 5 (Full PDF Version 38.8 MB) (WHO online link: in smaller chunks)

b. Bennett GW, Owens JM, Corrigan RM. Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations, 7th Edition, Purdue University/Questext Media, Cleveland, Ohio, 2010.

c.  Pratt H, et al. Biological Factors in Domestic Rodent Control and Control of Commensal Rats & Mice, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta GA, 1976.

2. Handouts:  In addition, selected handout materials will be made available on the course website or reproduced and handed out in class.

3. Reading Assignments:   Most of the assignment for the course are listed on the Class Schedule.  Additional assignments will be made in class.  Assigned readings not handed out in class can be found in the Undergraduate Program Office (E-179) in the Health Sciences Center. 

Other Reading Materials:

1. Books and Manuals

a. Zinsser H.  Rats, Lice and History, Little, Brown, and Company, 1935.
b. Garrett L., The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.  Penguin Books, New York, 1995.
c. Burgess NRH.  Public Health Pests, Chapman and Hall, London, 1990.
d. Ware GW.  Complete Guide to Pest Control With and Without Chemicals, 2nd Ed., Thompson Publications, Fresno CA, 1988.
e. Ware GW.  The Pesticide Book, 4th Ed., Thompson Publications, Fresno CA, 1994.
f. Pedigo LP, Rice ER. Entomology and Pest Management [5th Ed.], Pearson/Prentice Hall, Columbus OH, 2006. 
g. Diamond J, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY 1997.
h. Van Emden HF, Service MW. Pest and Vector Control, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 2004.
i. Gratz NG. Vector- and Rodent-borne Diseases of Europe and North America, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 2006.

2. Journals and Other Publications:

a. Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases
b. Journal of Economic Entomology
c. Pest Control  (Available in EH Library)
d. Journal of Environmental Health
e. American Journal of Public Health
f. World Health Organization Reports and Monographs

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Revised: 11/01/2012 @ 4:27 pm