Interactive Labs

Disease Lab

Lessons > The Virgin Field > Step 1

Most diseases begin with what is called "the virgin field"—a scenario in which humans have no natural or man-made immunity to the disease. To see the progress of a disease in a particular community, start by predicting how many sick days will be reported when you run the Kold disease through a medium-sized population, and record your prediction in the data table. In this first run-through, we'll assume that the population does not move around the field; they interact with their neighbors, but the contagion cannot travel long distances. (Population Mixing remains set to None.)

Make sure the Lesson is set to Virgin Field and Run the simulator to 100 days three times, recording data in your table. Note that a Kold lasts 5 days (see the Details button next to Kold). So the number of Kold cases is roughly the simulated number of sick days divided by 5. Then answer the following:

  1. Do you get the exact same results each time? How do the results compare to each other and to your prediction?
  2. What factors might contribute to susceptibility to the disease?