In Deeville, Oregon, people are getting sick. Hospitals are filling up with patients who all have very similar symptoms. They are experiencing enlarged and tender lymph nodes, fever, chills, and heat exhaustion. Other patients exhibit these symptoms, but also have abdominal pain, cough, and have difficulty breathing. Physicians are confused; some of these patients are family members and others are complete strangers. The symptoms seem as if they are connected but a pattern is not immediately seen. If this is an epidemic, though, the doctors need to know what it is and how to treat it immediately.... otherwise, it could mean the end of Deeville.
It is your team's job as Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers to investigate and identify this "outbreak", determine the causes of the epidemic and how it is transmitted, and design a presentation to give to the physicians regarding the history of this particular disease. The presentation should also include preventative measures for the general public and the treatment options available for these patients. After a group decision on the identity of this disease, each team member will have one specialized role in addition to the final group presentation.
1. As a registered nurse (R.N.) with a Master's degree in Public Health, you will determine the causes of the epidemic. What is the culprit behind the disease? Is it a bacteria? A virus? A fungus? A parasite? What does it look like? Give support for why it is likely that the disease is caused by your findings.
2. Your job as the Veterinarian (DVM) is to investigate how the disease is transmitted, or infects other people. Is it air-borne or blood-borne? Are animals involved or does the disease move person-to-person? Does it require a certain temperature? How close do the people have to be to become infected? Give support.
3. Epidemiology, the study of diseases, has always been an interest of yours through doctoral school. That is why you got your PhD in it! It is your job as the disease historian to study how the disease has progressed through the years. When was it first recognized? How did they treat it then? Are there pictures or documents from the past that can help find a cure or treatment today?
4. Since preventative measures and treatment are your strong suit as a M.D., you will discover how the disease is treated now and if there is a cure. Is there anything people can do to ensure that they do not become infected? Are there medications to take or surgery to have done? Your findings are crucial to the future of this disease and to the public.
The final group presentation will be in a format of your choice. You may create a poster showing each of the elements of this outbreak, pamphlets, a PowerPoint presentation, or you may create your own design on teacher approval. Each presentation will be given in front of the class as a group and every person is responsible for knowing each of its parts. One paper will be turned in for every group as a printed form of their presentation.
1. You will be assigned to an investigative team of 4 students.
2. After numbering off in class, each number will be
assigned a role on the team. The roles are 1) R.N. with Masters
degree in Public Health; 2) DVM; 3) PhD; 4) MD.
3. We will discuss what each of these roles requires you
to research and investigate.
4. After review of the WebQuest assignments, your team
will have a meeting to talk about what the symptoms and description of
the case could reveal about this mystery disease.
5. As a team, decide what disease you believe may be
taking its toll on Deeville.
6. After disease identification, your team will begin
work on your individual roles.
7. Use research tools on the Web, in journals, and in books.
DVMs: *use the RN and MD
websites for information on transmission
8. Regroup as an investigative team and discuss your
9. Determine your presentation format and get approval
from Mrs. Wagner-West.
10. ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!
11. As a group, work on your presentation and final
paper. Each person is responsible for writing their own section,
but every team member is responsible for knowing the information found
by their teammates.
12. Have a FANTASTIC mock medical conference and HAVE
Each student will be given an
individual grade based on their
performance on their role specific tasks. You will not be given a
score for a section to which they were not assigned. During the
presentation, each student will answer questions from both their
section and one other section from the group. Your ability to
answer the questions from your
own and other section will determine your second individual
score. Group scores are based on the presentation of the final
display and paper. Using this rubric, each student will receive
two individual scores and two group scores.
Through this WebQuest, library
research, and group presentation, you have been exposed to the
different levels of disease research, prevention/treatment, and
impact of diseases. Each of these steps are necessary to
understand how microscopic entities can affect our lives. You
have also learned to search for information on the internet and in the
library and connect to websites that are
specifically concerned with public health. The individual roles
in the lesson also allowed you to investigate the many careers you may
pursue that would be very useful in the fields of medicine and
A few things to think about:
*What steps would epidemiologists
need to take if the disease has never been seen before?
*How could a new disease
develop? When is it considered a "new" disease?
*With the widespread availability
of the internet, is self-diagnosis becoming more common?
*Why are certain areas of the
world more likely to show higher rates of infection than others?
*How can this information
assist in forensics, or solving police cases?
Credits & References
Web Design pages:
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Last updated on December 13, 2003. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page