The Spread of Viral Infection
— Using Film Clips from Outbreak
These film clips are designed to supplement existing lessons on the spread of viral infectious disease.
Subject: Health; Science/Biology;
Ages: 14+: High School Level;
Length: 33 minutes in five film clips or 53 minutes in one clip.
Excerpts from the Complete Snippet Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will have a clear picture of the path that a virus could take from a host animal to its first human victims and from there to an epidemic that could destroy an entire community.
Rationale: The film clips provide an excellent supplement to a unit on the spread of infectious disease.
Description of the Film Clip: A deadly virus is transmitted from Africa to the United States and threatens to cause an epidemic. The clips are taken from the first hour of the movie showing how the disease spreads.
THREATS TO HUMAN HEALTH PRESENTED BY VIRUSES
When it was discovered that bacteria could cause disease, there were many illnesses for which bacterial agents could not be found. These included serious diseases such as smallpox, polio, rabies and influenza, as well as less serious maladies such as the common cold. These diseases, and many more, are caused by viruses.
Viruses are infectious agents which are between 20 and 100 times smaller than bacteria. They are too small to be seen through a normal microscope and can be visualized only through an electron microscope. Viruses consist of strands of genetic material (RNA or DNA) surrounded by a coating of protein (called a capsid). Viruses are not considered to be living organisms because they cannot reproduce outside of a living cell.
[The Snippet Lesson Plan provides additional Helpful Background]
USING THE FILM CLIP IN THE CLASSROOM
1. Read the Helpful Background section of this Guide.
2. Be familiar with the location of the clips on the DVD and how to quickly get from one film clip to another. Each of the clips starts at the beginning of a chapter of the DVD. This makes it easy to transition to the beginning of each clip. However, the teacher will have to be vigilant as to when to end the clips. . . .
[The remaining steps in the Snippet Lesson Plan show teachers which portions of the film to show, how to introduce it and several culminating assignments.]
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The film clip selected from Outbreak can provide in a few minutes, a striking example of the transmission of viral epidemic from the jungles of Africa to a small town in the U.S.
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