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How to Minimize the Threat of Pandemic

•  How Are Viruses Spread?
H1N1 Flu/What is a Pandemic?
The History of Pandemics
• How to Minimize the Threat of Pandemic
What is the Math?

 

Pandemic Notice

Even as early as 1918, officials knew that contact with infected persons caused the virus to spread. Consequently, they prevented large crowds from gathering in theaters, churches, and schools. The public notice to the left shows one town’s attempt to limit public gatherings.

Once an influenza pandemic begins, it is often unstoppable, because the virus spreads rapidly by coughing and sneezing. In fact, infected people can pass the virus to others before symptoms even appear.

Preventing people from coming in contact with one another is one way to prevent the spread of influenza. Providing vaccines to reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease, or using an antidote to treat the symptoms once they appear, are other means of control.

  • How would quarantine affect the spread? Which parameter (population, days contagious, number of contacts, or chance of contraction) does it change in the applet? Hold the other variables constant and change only this variable in the applet. What happens?
  • A medicine is developed that reduces how long infected people are contagious. How would this affect the spread? Which parameter does this medicine influence? Hold the other variables constant and change only this variable in the applet. What happens?
  • A medicine is developed for uninfected people to take that will decrease their likelihood of contracting the disease. How would this affect the spread? Which parameter does this medicine affect in the applet? Hold the other variables constant and change only this variable in the applet. What happens?

Try using the applet again, holding two variables constant.

See tips from the U.S. government to prepare for a potential H1N1 Pandemic.

REFERENCES

Cartwright, Frederick F., and Michael Biddiss. Disease and History, 2nd revised edition. Darby, PA: Diane Publishing Company, 2000.

Nobilon International. Core Activities – Influenza Vaccines, Frequently Asked Questions, 2006, http://www.nobilonvaccines.com/htm/coreactivities_influenza.htm.

World Health Organization. Influenza, 2003, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/


 • How Are Viruses Spread?
H1N1 Flu/What is a Pandemic?
The History of Pandemics
• How to Minimize the Threat of Pandemic
What is the Math?


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