CNNfyi.com
  > Lesson Plans
STUDENT: Homework resources   Student Bureau  Gameroom
TEACHER: Teacher's edition   Subject areas  Teaching tools  CNN NEWSROOM
Return to
CNNfyi Home
Education Partners
Harcourt
· From 'acoustics' to 'zoology,' explore our online Dictionary of Science and Technology
· Learn about the U.S. with our online atlas
· Understand the phases of the moon
· Online Stanford writing assessment

 

This CNNfyi.com lesson plan is supplemented with material from HighWired.com


West Nile virus

June 14, 2001
Web posted at: 7:19 PM EDT (2319 GMT)

Lesson Plans by month
Lesson Plans by subject

Curriculum Connections: Health

Objectives
Students will be able to:

  • Explain the transmission, health effects, treatment and prevention of the West Nile virus.
  • Plan a public health campaign about West Nile.

Standards
Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning
Health standard 2, grades nine-12
High school students need to know how the prevention and control of health problems are influenced by research and medical advances

Suggested time One class period

Procedure
1. Have students read the following CNN.fyi article, "West Nile virus expected to spread across United States" and ask the following questions:

  • What is the West Nile virus? When and where was this virus originally identified? What are the symptoms of this virus? How is it spread? What species of mosquito carry the West Nile? Where in the United States is West Nile being found? How did it get to the United States? How many Americans have been infected with the virus?
  • Are you concerned about contracting West Nile? Why or why not? What segment of the population is most at risk for developing severe symptoms? Why? What is the state of Georgia doing to address the spread of West Nile? How can people protect themselves from becoming infected? Why is this disease difficult to control? Do you think Americans should be concerned about West Nile becoming an epidemic? Discuss.

2. Refer students to online resources, including the first related site link below, to learn more about the transmission, health effects (on humans and animals), treatment and prevention of West Nile encephalitis.

Assessment
Have students draw upon their research to develop posters, brochures or a radio address to educate members of their community about West Nile, and how to protect themselves from the virus.

Challenge
Point out to students that West Nile is one of several illnesses that are spread by mosquitoes. Other mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever. Divide your class into groups and assign each group one of these diseases. Have groups research the epidemiology and impact of these diseases. Groups should focus on where the diseases have occurred, and the benefits and drawbacks of the different methods for treating and stopping their spread. Instruct students to consider the use of drugs and pesticides, the elimination of swampy breeding grounds and the potential use of vaccines and transgenic mosquitoes. Direct students to develop multimedia presentations of their findings. After students present their findings, have them discuss the pros and cons of the methods used to combat the spread of these diseases.

Ask students: How does the geography of the United States provide an environment conducive to the spread of West Nile? Refer students to the last two links below to learn more about the spread and tracking of West Nile in the United States. Then, using a map of North America, have students speculate about the path that West Nile might take through the United States this summer, and if their state is at risk.

Accommodation
Using a map of the United States, color in the states where West Nile has been found and where officials fear it may spread. Then as a class, discuss the role that geography plays in the spread of diseases.

Extension
Students can follow HighWired.com's classroom project, "Like the End of the World: 20th Century Epidemics" to discover more about the cyclical nature of epidemics.



RELATED STORIES:
CNNfyi Learning Adventure: Virus Encounters
Chat Transcript
Rhonda Rowland: The West Nile Virus
June 16, 2001

RELATED SITES:
West Nile Virus Home Page - CDC Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)
Questions and Answers About West Nile Virus - CDC Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)
West Nile Virus Maps - nationalatlas.gov
West Nile Virus Map

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

A join venture of
CNN.com Turner Learning
Privacy   About CNNfyi.com   Feedback Back to top   
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved. | Terms under which this service is provided to you. | Read our privacy guidelines.