viernes, 26 de junio de 2015

Online Resources for Understanding Outbreaks and Infectious Diseases

Disease outbreaks are hot topics that often receive extensive national and international news coverage, although this coverage may not always be accurate. Engaging students with these current events can be a powerful way to teach about science and health. Accurate disease information is also an important public health issue, as misinformation can lead to fear and poor policy decisions. In this review, we highlight online resources for teaching about outbreaks and infectious diseases that will be useful for scientists and educators working with middle school, high school, and undergraduate students. We particularly focus on current news about infectious diseases, epidemiology, pathogen biology, and vaccines.
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Some diseases, such as the flu, spread from human to human, while others rely on a vector intermediate—for example, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. Outbreaks, or epidemics, are characterized by the rapid spread of disease in a population. An outbreak that becomes global is referred to as a pandemic. In 2009, the global spread of H1N1 “swine” flu was a pandemic, whereas the outbreak of Ebola that began in 2014 is an epidemic in West Africa, not a pandemic.
Barber, Nicola C., and Louisa A. Stark. “Online Resources for Understanding Outbreaks 
and Infectious Diseases.” CBE Life Sciences Education 14.1 (2015): fe1. PMC. Web. 24 June 2015.
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