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Lesson 6: How Does Quarantining Students Affect the Spread of Influenza Through a School?

Influenza is a contagious disease, which means that the illness is easily spread from one student to another. Can keeping sick students in a specific area of a school reduce the number of infections due to influenza?

Doing the Science

  1. Start the Flu Transmission Simulation.
  2. Select the "Quarantine" button under the Factor menu on the left-bottom of the screen.
  3. Select the "Run" button at the bottom center of the screen.
  4. Note the Progress bar, which shows time running for a six-week period.
  5. Select the "1" icon on the Progress bar.
  6. Count and record in Table 1 the number of infected students at the end of the first week of the flu outbreak.
  7. Select the "2" icon on the Progress bar.
  8. Count and record in Table 1 the number of infected students at the end of the second week of the flu outbreak.
  9. Repeat this process until you have counted and recorded data for all six weeks.

Table 1.

Week

Infected

Uninfected

Week

Infected

Uninfected

1

4

2

5

3

6

 

Do You Understand?

  1. As time progressed, how did the number of students who were infected by the flu change?


  2. Compared to your results from Lesson 1, how did quarantining students affect the spread of influenza in the school?


  3. What does it mean to quarantine a person?


  4. How does quarantining a person with an infection prevent the spread of a pathogen?


  5. What are some problems associated with large-scale quarantining of many people?


  6. Is it possible to quarantine the entire population of a city? Please support your response with a reason.