The Epidemic: a Large Group Activity That Demonstrates Transmission of Infectious Agents

  • Authors: Kathryn Link1, Jean Cardinale2
    Affiliations: 1: Biology, Alfred University; 2: Biology, Alfred University
  • Citation: Kathryn Link, Jean Cardinale. 2007. The epidemic: a large group activity that demonstrates transmission of infectious agents.
  • Publication Date : February 2007
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This activity describes a simulated epidemic using the nontoxic, noninfectious, fluorescent agent GloGerm. Students rub gauze saturated with mineral oil on a gloved hand; one student in the class has oil containing GloGerm. The students then proceed through three to five controlled rounds of handshaking, recording each “encounter.” After the last round of handshakes, the spread of the epidemic is traced by recording the “infected” glowing hands, detectable by ultraviolet light. The students share and analyze the data from the rounds of handshakes and trace the transmission of the agent, GloGerm, back to patient zero.

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