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MI 255: Measles and Sneezles and Things That Go Mumps in the Night

A study of measles (until recently one of the leading causes of death in the world and the most contagious disease agent ever studied) and its relatives in the paramyxovirus family, including mumps, parainfluenza viruses, hendra, and nipah, as well as a number of important animal pathogens. Investigates the nature of viruses using the paramyxoviruses as a paradigm. Topics include: the history of this devastating group of pathogens; basic aspects of paramyxovirus taxonomy and molecular virology; viral epidemiology, emergence, and eradication, including the pioneering studies of Peter Panum; the use, misuse, and abuse of science; the interactions between pathogen and host and how this interplay leads to disease, including the appearance of a bizarre brain complication with 100% mortality; the politics and economics of infection; how a putative link between the measles vaccine and autism entered the public eye, and how it refuses to disappear despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Lectures, discussion, student presentations. No science background necessary.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Medical Option (Med-Ltr-CR/NC)
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