Activity 1: Simulating the spread of a disease
1. Each of you will be given a cup containing a cloudy liquid, and a pipet.
2. Put two big squirts of liquid from your cup in someone else’s cup.
3. Receive two big squirts from that same person. This exchange represents one incidence of physical contact you have with someone else – shaking hands, hugging hello, etc.
4. Record below the name of the person with whom you “had contact” under Contact #1.
5. Wait until there is an announcement that everyone has finished with Contact #1.
6. Repeat the two-squirt exchange with someone else.
7. Record her name below under Contact #2.
8. At this point, one of us will add iodine indicator to your cup. If your cup turns blue, you are infected! If it says brown, you are not infected.
9. Using the record you’ve kept of the people with whom you’ve exchanged fluids, we’ll reconstruct the transmission of this disease, and determine who was the original carrier.
Activity 2: Tracking down the culprit
A preschool-age child in Walnut Creek goes to the doctor with her mother. For the past few days, she has been complaining of a sore throat and her mother noticed that she hasn’t been her “usual self.”
A few days later, a college student at UC Berkeley goes to the Student Health Center. He is athletic and is frequently tired after a long day of school, and his usual workout at the gym. Lately, however, he has had distracting headaches, body aches, and he has felt more fatigued than normal; his girlfriend thought it was a good idea for him to go to the doctor.
During the next week, a 40-year-old mechanic in Oakland develops a dry cough, fatigue, fever, and shortness of breath. He tries not to let his symptoms show, because he can’t afford to miss a day of work. At the end of the week, however, after an almost disastrous accident at the shop, he’s rushed the hospital for extreme fatigue and chest pain.
All three individuals have the same infection. Come up with a plausible story for how these East Bay residents all ended up sick, including a possible mechanism of transfer.
My explanation of how this infection could have been passed between
Links to check out later:
Learn how to investigate an outbreak!
Here are some sample cases for you to work through:
Center for Disease Control (CDC) – all about diseases