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Connecting Viral Pandemics to Ecological Population Growth Models

By Parks Collins1, Paul Strode2

1. Mitchell Community College 2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

In this activity students use the HHMI Population Growth Models interactive to explore R0 for diseases and discuss the importance of connecting population ecology to current events like the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group HHMI BioInteractive

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Version 1.0 - published on 16 Sep 2020 doi:10.25334/KKGC-W370 - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Screen Shot 2020-09-12 at 5.37.36 PM.png

Description

The 2020 zoonotic outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 global disease pandemic has been sobering and devastating. The disease spread quietly at first before roaring into nearly every global community. Epidemiologists and medical experts raced to understand the behavior of the disease and the physiological toll it could take on those infected. One critical disease variable that the experts immediately tried to track is R0 (pronounced r-naught). R0 is the basic reproduction rate for a disease and is the potential number of secondary cases one case could produce at the beginning of an outbreak in a completely susceptible (healthy, but not immune) population. In this activity students use the HHMI Population Growth Models interactive to explore R0 for diseases and discuss the importance of connecting population ecology to current events like the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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HHMI BioInteractive

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