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Graphing an Epidemic: West Africa Ebola Epidemic

Author(s): Lois Bartsch

Metropolitan Community College

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Summary:
In this activity, students will explore how the Ebola virus outbreak occurred in West Africa through graphing prevalence, incidence and mortality data from the three major countries that were affected by the Ebola virus in 2014 - 2016

Description

In this activity, students will explore how the Ebola virus outbreak occurred in West Africa.    They will start by defining some key terms related to disease prevalence and understanding the differences between the different types of data.  Students will then graph prevalence, incidence and mortality data from the three major countries that were affected by the Ebola virus outbreak that were collected by the World Health Organization over a period of 2 years.  Students are then asked to graph data as one large data set and then for each country separately (Version A) or to create graphs that answer a set of questions (Version B).  After the data is graphed, students will explore the differences and similarities that occur between the different countries.   Finally, students will be asked to hypothesize why these differences and similarities occur and why Ebola became an epidemic in these countries but not in the other 10 countries that reported cases.  

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