Emerge, detect, contain: the critical role of public health in a pandemic

In the 1970s, public health officials from around the world led efforts to make smallpox – an infectious disease that killed nearly 30% of people it infected – the only human disease to be essentially eradicated through comprehensive vaccination.

So what is the role of public health and public health professionals in managing and containing emerging pandemics? From data collection and analysis to communication and government policy, public health is involved in more ways than you might think.

Associate Professor Linda Selvey has recorded a masterclass on public health within the healthcare system and its critical role in responding to pandemics. As a public health physician and infection diseases epidemiologist, Linda offers a unique perspective on the healthcare system and its significant contribution in protecting the public.

Watch the masterclass and the subsequent discussion between our expert panel below.

Meet the panel

Associate Professor Linda Selvey

Linda is the former Director of Communicable Diseases Branch and former Executive Director of Population Health QueenslandLinda is a public health physician and her main research area is infectious disease. Her research interests are diverse including: climate change; sexual health; blood borne viruses and antimicrobial resistance.

Associate Professor Simon Reid 

Simon is a keen advocate of One Health approaches to tackle the wicked problems posed by zoonotic diseases. His research focuses on the development of One Health strategies to control leptospirosis and other zoonoses in Fiji, Q fever in QLD and to improve infection control in veterinary practice.

Dr Sheleigh Lawler

Sheleigh is a health psychologist with a strong emphasis on behavioural approaches to disease prevention and health promotion. Her research focuses on broad reach behavioural interventions that can be translated to improve the health and well-being of priority populations. Sheleigh is also the Program Director for our Master of Public Health program.

Associate Professor Lisa Hall

Lisa is an epidemiologist and an active health services researcher with expertise in implementation science and economic evaluation.  Her research focuses on the surveillance, prevention and control of infections, particularly in healthcare settings. Lisa is also the Program Director for our Master of Epidemiology program.

Dr Michael Waller

Michael is a biostatistician who teaches courses on Statistical Software and Generalized Linear Models.  His current research focus is using linked data sources to assess dementia rates and risk factors. He has previous experience working on cancer screening, and military health studies. Michael is also the Program Director for the Master of Biostatistics program.

Associate Professor Coral Gartner

Coral teaches environmental health and tobacco control policy. Her research interests span health policy and regulation, behavioural change interventions, and wastewater-based epidemiology. She leads the Nicotine and Tobacco Regulatory Science Research Group. Coral is also the Program Director for our Master of Environmental Health Sciences program.





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