Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence - PHCM9789

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine

School: School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Course Outline: See Course Outline

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: Students who are not enrolled in a postgraduate program in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine will need to provide approval from their program authority and the approval of the course convenor to

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


This is a PLuS Alliance course offered through UNSW. Students at UNSW, Arizona State University and Kings College London who are in a PLuS Alliance program can enrol into this course.

Our systems, thinking, training, legislation and policies have lagged far behind momentous changes in science, and leaving us vulnerable to population-level harm from bioterrorism. Synthetic viruses and genetic engineering of pathogens are a reality, with a rapid acceleration of dual-use research of concern (DURC), which is research intended for good which may also be used to cause harm to humans. The public availability of methods for DURC genetic engineering, coupled with the insider threat, poses an unprecedented risk for global biosecurity. The course will provide a grounding in human health aspects of bioterrorism and response, for first-responders, analysts or policy makers from health, emergency management, law enforcement, military or other relevant backgrounds. An overview of bioterrorism past, present and future scenarios will be covered. Case studies in risk analysis, risk mitigation and response will be studied. These will cover engineered transmissible H5N1 avian influenza; distinguishing natural from unnatural epidemics, surveillance tools, rapid intelligence and analysis methods. International health regulations, governance of DURC, insider threat and ethical frameworks will be examined. Models for cross-sectoral collaboration and communication will also be explored. Preparation of first line responders to biohazards will be covered, including personal protective equipment, decontamination, epidemic control measures, post-exposure prophylaxis and vaccines for biosecurity.

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