Interactive Labs

Disease Lab

Lessons > Counter-Virus > For Your Consideration

Diseases travel through populations in fairly predictable ways. Population density, or population mixing with the same effect as changing density, is one of the key controlling factors of disease transmission.

If you haven't already done so, you should complete the Demographics lab and consider how exponential population growth in certain developing countries might affect disease propagation and how this might be countered.

Diseases like HIV, hepatitis, and avian influenza are currently spreading rapidly in developing countries. Ebola outbreaks also recur. Controlled diseases such as polio have had outbreaks in Syrian refugee camps. On average, the CDC maintains a list of 12 diseases that are epidemic or pandemic and highly lethal. Although the list rarely changes and a majority of the diseases are found in sub-Saharan Africa, a threat continues to the world as a whole. Differences in health care, the availability of clean water (or water in general), and socio-political agendas often define how quickly disease spreads and to what extent those afflicted may find care and respite. Consider the following:

  1. In addition to the efforts of the CDC and WHO, what might be done to either contain virulent disease or prevent its onset?
  2. In your opinion, what is the greatest viral or bacterial threat to your local population and what precautions might be taken to avoid contagion?