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Bird Flu Today Public Awareness Campaign

Introduction

Introduction

It was 1918, World War I was coming to an end. American soldiers in Europe were looking forward to coming home . [1] However, not all was well on the home front.. On March 11, 1918 the Fort Riley Army Hospital in Kansas was inundated with patients complaining of headaches, sore throats, and fevers. [2] Still contained to the Army hospital, the influenza epidemic had doctors on their feet for days on end. Doctors treated soldiers for their symptoms, and some of those soldiers were were shipped to Europe to help bring the war to a close. However, something strange began to occur. The sick soldiers going abroad carried with them invisible invaders that had already mutatedand were untreatable by available medicines. Doctors had no idea what was causing the outbreak and continued to treat the soldiers for their symptoms. As soldiers returned home later that summer, they brought back a virus that had evolved into an extremely lethal disease that was eventually called Spanish Influenza. This strain of flu was so powerful that people who fell ill in the morning were often dead by nightfall. By October of 1918, 195,000 Americans had died from this global pandemic. It was not until 1933 that scientists finally discovered that a mutated influenza virus was causing the outbreak.

Today, the source of this 1918 influenza pandemic is still being debated. Much of the evidence points to an avian (bird) flu that mutated into a form transmittable between humans. Recently, news reports about new strains of impending bird flu have raised concern among scientists and the public about the potential of a flu epidemic even worse than that of 1918. The virulent avian H5N1 strand of this virus has proven deadly in certain parts of the world…for birds. And humans have contracted the virus, also. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded a total of 161 human deaths from avian influenza as of January 15, 2007. [3] These deaths have been mostly concentrated in Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa. To date, the virus can only be transferred between migratory birds and, in rare cases, from birds to humans. [4] It has not been found to be easily transmittable between humans. The fear, however, is that H5N1 could develop that ability before a vaccine is available to protect humans from contracting this potentially deadly disease. In 2005, the federal government issued The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, which focuses American efforts on “(1) stopping, slowing or otherwise limiting the spread of a pandemic to the United States; (2) limiting the domestic spread of a pandemic, and mitigating disease, suffering and death; and (3) sustaining infrastructure and mitigating impact to the economy and the functioning of society.” [6] Since 2005, the government has been implementing this action plan by meeting certain yearly benchmarks.

With the potential threat of another deadly influenza pandemic looming and a limited federal budget, the government’s plan has attracted supporters and critics alike. What do you think? Is the impending threat of bird flu a cause for alarm?

References

[1] http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/chapters/index.html
[2] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/index.html
[3] http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/
[4] http://www.pandemicflu.gov/
[5] http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051101-1.html
[6] http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/federal/index.html - link now defunct

Individual Activity

Your Individual Tasks are to become experts in your research areas and find answers to the following questions. After completing research on each of the these topics, you must provide your team with a concise – but detailed – explanation of what you learned and how it can be applied to the current situation. Once you and your team have answered the following questions, you will be ready to tackle the group portion and put together your public awareness campaign. Your individual research is crucial, because without it, your team will not be able to answer overarching group questions that will inform your campaign. The individual questions are divided into the four areas of expertise that follow.

Researcher 1: How is avian influenza different from the common flu?

The common flu is not life threatening for much of the world’s population. If that is the case, then why does the avian influenza pose such high risks?

1. How does an influenza virus infect the host cell?

http://health.howstuffworks.com/virus-human.htm
http://www.nescent.org/eog/influenza_life_cycle.swf

2. What kinds of changes must occur toallow avian influenza to be transmitted between individuals of different species, such as from bird to human?

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/features/killer-flu/caught-the-flu/220/ (Interactive Caught the Flu)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3302/04.html (watch video clip)
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/avian-flu-humans.htm

3. Can the existing avian influenza virus be transferred from one human host to another? Why or why not?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3302/04.html (watch video clip)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3318/02.html (watch video clip)
View Emerging Infectious Diseases section of website

4. In what regions of the world can avian influenza be found today? Who is most at risk of getting it?

http://www.who.int/influenza/human_animal_interface/en/
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/
http://declanbutler.info/blog/?p=58

Try this Out Just for Fun
http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/infection/index.html

 

Researcher 2: Is H5N1 on the verge of evolving into THE superbug of the century?

The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 demonstrates why microbial evolution is a concern of scientists everywhere. What needs to happen for H5N1 to become a threat to public health?

1. How do microbes evolve?

View Koshland Science Museum’s exhibit on microbial evolution.
In what ways have influenza viruses evolved in the past?

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/features/killer-flu/caught-the-flu/220/ (Caught the Flu interactive)
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/outbreaks/past.htm

2. Describe why the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was such a concern in terms of microbial evolution?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3318/02.html (watch video clip)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/health/birdflu/1918flu.html

3. How does microbial evolution lead to antibiotic and antiviral drug resistance?

View antibiotics and emerging drug resistance section of exhibit
View “How do Antiretrovirals work?” section of exhibit
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/teachstuds/svideos.html (watch video 6)
http://www.thebody.com/content/treat/art890.html

4. How does our knowledge of microbial evolution permit a better understanding of the threats posed by avian influenza?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3302/04.html (watch video clip)
http://www.pandemicflu.gov
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3318/02.html (watch video clip)

Try this Out Just for Fun http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/immunity/

 

Researcher 3:Is finding and producing a vaccine for H5N1 an easy task?

Each year a new seasonal flu vaccine is produced to fight the different strains of the virus that threaten to dominate in that particular period. What does this indicate about efforts to develop a vaccine for H5N1?

1. What is a vaccine?

View vaccine section of Koshland Science Museum exhibit

2. How does a vaccine work with an individual’s immune system to protect an individual against disease?

View vaccine section from museum
http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-vaccines-work.htm
http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/article.php?id=76

3. How are vaccines made?

http://www.vaccineinformation.org/flu/qandavax.asp
http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/article.php?id=82

4. What roles do vaccines play in ensuring the overall health of society?

http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/article.php?id=78
View vaccine section of exhibit

5. Are there antivirals and vaccines for avian influenza? What needs to be done in order to develop some?

http://www.pandemictoolkit.com/index.html

Try this Out Just for Fun http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/tuberculosis/

 

Researcher 4: For avian influenza, are public health measures the most effective prevention option?

Many will argue that public health measures are the best way to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. How can we learn from our past experiences dealing with pandemics?

1. What effects have public health measures had on reducing deaths due to infectious disease in the United States? What measures have had the greatest impact?

View public health section of exhibit

2. What is epidemiolgy?

http://www.cdc.gov/excite/classroom/intro_epi.htm#studies

3. How have public health measures worked in the past to eradicate disease from parts of the world?

See public health section of exhibit
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs107/en/index.html (especially the section on epidemic control)

4. What animals are involved in spreading and transmitting avian influenza?
Can this information be used to control the spread of the disease?

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/transmission.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/interactives/birdflu/
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/
avian_influenza/avian_influenza_maps.jsp

5. Why is avian influenza spreading so quickly in some regions and not in others? What are some possible ways that it may spread globally?

http://sciencemag.org
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/

Try this Out Just for Fun
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/

 

Group Activity

Your team’s task task is to develop a public awareness campaign based on your understanding of viruses, microbial evolution, vaccines, and public health. Your presentation to the class should address the following three questions:

(1) From an evolutionary perspective, should the United States be concerned about bird flu? Why or why not?

Your team’s task is to develop a public awareness campaing based on your perspective and your understanding of viruses, microbial evolution, vaccines, and public health. Use the research that you did individually to begin this task. Your presentation to the class should address the following questions:

(1) From an evolutionary perspective, should we be worried about bird flu? Why or why not?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider

  • Microbial evolution
  • Viral resistance to vaccines (antigenic drift & shift)
  • Are we worrying about the wrong flu? Should we be more concerned about the seasonal flu impact?
  • Human responses to current flu antivirals & vaccines

(2) Given the state of the federal budget, do you think we should be investing a large amount of money in stockpiling a vaccine to be saved for the future? Which segment of the population should be accounted for in this stockpiling of the H5N1 vaccine?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Who are targeted individuals for current flu vaccines?
  • Who should be vaccinated for avian flu if a pandemic were to occur?
  • What other types of measures could be taken in addition to vaccination?
  • What are the most effective ways pandemics have been dealt with in the past?
  • Where are the most current outbreaks of avian flu concentrated?
  • Where would the federal government’s money be best spent today, on a vaccine for the future or on other public health measures?

(3) According to the federal government’s plan, focus for where the money should be spent is on training of medical personnel, surveillance and testing, and preparedness plans. In your eyes, is this how the money should be spent?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Based on your research for question 2, is this in line with your feelings on the best response plan for the country?
  • Should the emphasis on spending right now be locally or globally?
  • Based on your new understanding of how similar epidemics have been dealt with in the past, how do you feel our money would be best spent today?

To answer these questions you may want to refer to the following websites:
See microbial evolution, vaccines, and human immunity, global burden and tracing emerging infectious diseases, public health, and vector control and malaria sections of exhibit.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/

Once your team has responded to the questions above, you are to choose one of the public awareness campaign options and then present it to your classmates in a convincing manner. Remember, you are wither warning them about the looming threat, or calming their nerves about a worrisome potential danger. Based on your choice of a campaign plan, you must identify for yourselves and your teacher who you are representing and who your audience is.

Bird Flu Awareness Campaign Options

  • Bird Flu Safety and Awareness Kit
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video educating people about bird flu
  • A public place ad campaign that educates epople about bird flu
  • A community action plan about the potential threat, including information that would be disseminated to everyone and the way you would do that
  • A lobbying action plan, which will be presented to Congress and ultimately the President about what the U.S. should be doing about bird flu (taking into consideration what has been done so far and how you feel about that)
  • Any other ideas you may have, which must be approved by your teacher

Once you have decided upon your team’s campaign strategy above, you are to choose at least three of the awareness tools listed below to use in your final presentation to the public. These are common ways that groups use to disseminate information about their cause to the general public.

 

There will be check points the way to ensure you complete your work in time.

________ Determined group position and campaign idea as related to group question one
________ ***Collected data to be used in support of your argument (this is in the form of the individual assignments of the webquest)
________ Developed detailed story board, script, and outline for your campaign (this includes: exactly what you will be putting together to present in class, as well as distributes the tasks that each group member is responsible for, and what three components you will be incorporating from the awareness tools portion of the assignment)
________ Present final campaign plan In-class (Your campaign debut should take no more than 5 minutes presentation time)

 

(2) Given the state of the federal budget, do you think we should spend a lot of money to stockpile a vaccine? Which segment of the population should be accounted for in stockpiling the H5N1 vaccine?

Your team’s task is to develop a public awareness campaing based on your perspective and your understanding of viruses, microbial evolution, vaccines, and public health. Use the research that you did individually to begin this task. Your presentation to the class should address the following questions:

(1) From an evolutionary perspective, should we be worried about bird flu? Why or why not?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider

  • Microbial evolution
  • Viral resistance to vaccines (antigenic drift & shift)
  • Are we worrying about the wrong flu? Should we be more concerned about the seasonal flu impact?
  • Human responses to current flu antivirals & vaccines

(2) Given the state of the federal budget, do you think we should be investing a large amount of money in stockpiling a vaccine to be saved for the future? Which segment of the population should be accounted for in this stockpiling of the H5N1 vaccine?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Who are targeted individuals for current flu vaccines?
  • Who should be vaccinated for avian flu if a pandemic were to occur?
  • What other types of measures could be taken in addition to vaccination?
  • What are the most effective ways pandemics have been dealt with in the past?
  • Where are the most current outbreaks of avian flu concentrated?
  • Where would the federal government’s money be best spent today, on a vaccine for the future or on other public health measures?

(3) According to the federal government’s plan, focus for where the money should be spent is on training of medical personnel, surveillance and testing, and preparedness plans. In your eyes, is this how the money should be spent?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Based on your research for question 2, is this in line with your feelings on the best response plan for the country?
  • Should the emphasis on spending right now be locally or globally?
  • Based on your new understanding of how similar epidemics have been dealt with in the past, how do you feel our money would be best spent today?

To answer these questions you may want to refer to the following websites:
See microbial evolution, vaccines, and human immunity, global burden and tracing emerging infectious diseases, public health, and vector control and malaria sections of exhibit.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/

Once your team has responded to the questions above, you are to choose one of the public awareness campaign options and then present it to your classmates in a convincing manner. Remember, you are wither warning them about the looming threat, or calming their nerves about a worrisome potential danger. Based on your choice of a campaign plan, you must identify for yourselves and your teacher who you are representing and who your audience is.

Bird Flu Awareness Campaign Options

  • Bird Flu Safety and Awareness Kit
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video educating people about bird flu
  • A public place ad campaign that educates epople about bird flu
  • A community action plan about the potential threat, including information that would be disseminated to everyone and the way you would do that
  • A lobbying action plan, which will be presented to Congress and ultimately the President about what the U.S. should be doing about bird flu (taking into consideration what has been done so far and how you feel about that)
  • Any other ideas you may have, which must be approved by your teacher

Once you have decided upon your team’s campaign strategy above, you are to choose at least three of the awareness tools listed below to use in your final presentation to the public. These are common ways that groups use to disseminate information about their cause to the general public.

There will be check points the way to ensure you complete your work in time.

________ Determined group position and campaign idea as related to group question one
________ ***Collected data to be used in support of your argument (this is in the form of the individual assignments of the webquest)
________ Developed detailed story board, script, and outline for your campaign (this includes: exactly what you will be putting together to present in class, as well as distributes the tasks that each group member is responsible for, and what three components you will be incorporating from the awareness tools portion of the assignment)
________ Present final campaign plan In-class (Your campaign debut should take no more than 5 minutes presentation time)

 

(3) According to the federal government’s plan, money should be directed to training medical personnel, improving disease surveillance and testing, and developing preparedness plans. Do you agree this is how the money should be spent?

Your team’s task is to develop a public awareness campaing based on your perspective and your understanding of viruses, microbial evolution, vaccines, and public health. Use the research that you did individually to begin this task. Your presentation to the class should address the following questions:

(1) From an evolutionary perspective, should we be worried about bird flu? Why or why not?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider

  • Microbial evolution
  • Viral resistance to vaccines (antigenic drift & shift)
  • Are we worrying about the wrong flu? Should we be more concerned about the seasonal flu impact?
  • Human responses to current flu antivirals & vaccines

(2) Given the state of the federal budget, do you think we should be investing a large amount of money in stockpiling a vaccine to be saved for the future? Which segment of the population should be accounted for in this stockpiling of the H5N1 vaccine?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Who are targeted individuals for current flu vaccines?
  • Who should be vaccinated for avian flu if a pandemic were to occur?
  • What other types of measures could be taken in addition to vaccination?
  • What are the most effective ways pandemics have been dealt with in the past?
  • Where are the most current outbreaks of avian flu concentrated?
  • Where would the federal government’s money be best spent today, on a vaccine for the future or on other public health measures?

(3) According to the federal government’s plan, focus for where the money should be spent is on training of medical personnel, surveillance and testing, and preparedness plans. In your eyes, is this how the money should be spent?

Sub-Questions/Points to Consider:

  • Based on your research for question 2, is this in line with your feelings on the best response plan for the country?
  • Should the emphasis on spending right now be locally or globally?
  • Based on your new understanding of how similar epidemics have been dealt with in the past, how do you feel our money would be best spent today?

To answer these questions you may want to refer to the following websites:
See microbial evolution, vaccines, and human immunity, global burden and tracing emerging infectious diseases, public health, and vector control and malaria sections of exhibit.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/

Once your team has responded to the questions above, you are to choose one of the public awareness campaign options and then present it to your classmates in a convincing manner. Remember, you are wither warning them about the looming threat, or calming their nerves about a worrisome potential danger. Based on your choice of a campaign plan, you must identify for yourselves and your teacher who you are representing and who your audience is.

Bird Flu Awareness Campaign Options

  • Bird Flu Safety and Awareness Kit
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video educating people about bird flu
  • A public place ad campaign that educates epople about bird flu
  • A community action plan about the potential threat, including information that would be disseminated to everyone and the way you would do that
  • A lobbying action plan, which will be presented to Congress and ultimately the President about what the U.S. should be doing about bird flu (taking into consideration what has been done so far and how you feel about that)
  • Any other ideas you may have, which must be approved by your teacher

Once you have decided upon your team’s campaign strategy above, you are to choose at least three of the awareness tools listed below to use in your final presentation to the public. These are common ways that groups use to disseminate information about their cause to the general public.

There will be check points the way to ensure you complete your work in time.

________ Determined group position and campaign idea as related to group question one
________ ***Collected data to be used in support of your argument (this is in the form of the individual assignments of the webquest)
________ Developed detailed story board, script, and outline for your campaign (this includes: exactly what you will be putting together to present in class, as well as distributes the tasks that each group member is responsible for, and what three components you will be incorporating from the awareness tools portion of the assignment)
________ Present final campaign plan In-class (Your campaign debut should take no more than 5 minutes presentation time)

 

Rubric