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Evolution of Virulence

In module 7 of the course, we’ll look at so-called emerging infectious diseases. These are diseases that are causing new problems. They include infectious agents that are new to humanity, but also infectious agents that were once controlled and are now returning, particularly those that are evolving around formerly very effective public health tools like drugs and vaccines. This means much of the week involves a discussion of evolution. We will look at these emerging diseases and ask, where do they come from and what can be done about them? You will learn about new ideas for managing evolution, and some of the societal challenges involved. We will also look at the related question of how some diseases evolve to be nicer or nastier to their hosts.

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