CTC Biology Chapter 9 & 10 Pandemic Discussions

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Imagine that tomorrow a new viral disease moves into the human population. The first recognized case is in Shanghai China, a major international trade city located on the East China Sea (see the map below). This virus is as deadly (virulent) as some of the worst Ebola epidemics (90% mortality), it has an incubation period of a month from the time of exposure and infected people are contagious for 2 weeks before serious symptoms appear. During the 2 week period of contagion, the people have what appears to be a typical cold virus. This virus spreads via all mechanisms (contact, body fluids, and airborne) and a very low dose of virus is necessary for infection. When the symptoms emerge, they are much like Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers; ultimately, the number of platelets (cell fragments involved in the blood clotting process) drops and bleeding will occur anywhere in the body. The body fluids are highly contagious and patients usually live about 3 days without supportive care and 5-6 days with supportive care.

Based on the above description, explain how you think the virus will spread around the world, what the likelihood of containing this virus will be, and any regions of the world where you think the virus is unlikely to reach. Use specific information from the description to support your arguments. At what point in the epidemic do you think we would know enough about the dangers of this virus to take action For example, will it still be contained to Shanghai? To China? Will it have reached the U.S.? Will it already be widespread in the U.S.? If you were part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control what actions would you recommend this country take in the face of such a threat? Justify your answer. What type of resistance do you think there would be to your recommendations


Refer to the scenario described for Unit 9 to respond to this Unit 10 Discussion.

Be sure to look at the map and read the description. Imagine now that this virus became a major world-wide epidemic that resulted not just in the deaths of billions of people, but also in the collapse of modern society. Assume that some people have survived (it is only 90% mortality after all) and that there are a few populations in the world that have not encountered the virus. Today, the world population is about 7.7 billion. Immediately after the hypothetical epidemic, the population would be about 770 Million—about the population in 1760—16 years before the American Revolution. Use the information from the assignments for previous units and consider the consequences of this disaster on the human genome over the next 1000 years. Begin by considering what will happen to general and specific populations in the immediate aftermath of such an event. Will human populations be as mobile, more mobile or less mobile than they were in 1760, a time with the same approximate population. Continue to discuss your projections over about 30 to 50 generations (something like 1000 years depending on how long a human “generation” is after this event). Keep in mind as always that you must have some scientific basis (cited) for your predictions.


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