Diffusion of Disease
Students are introduced to the theory of disease spread. Through visual resources, a variety of maps and videos students are provided with the knowledge to explain how the geographic concepts of diffusion by relocation and by expansion apply to the spread of diseases. A number of case study examples, including Ebola and H1N1 virus are developed to sow how the spread of disease can be managed. the lesson leads uo to a student simulation of disease outbreak and they required to manage it.
How does disease spread and what are the barriers to the spread of disease?
Lesson Time: 2 Hours
- To be able to explain how the geographic concepts of diffusion by relocation and by expansion apply to the spread of diseases
- To examine the application of the concept of barriers in attempts to limit the spread of diseases
- To describe the factors that have enabled the reduction in incidence of a disease
Starter Activity - Synthesis - Epidemiology Curve
Study the GIF graph below and discuss:
- Why understanding disease diffusion is so important
- What authorities need to understand and action in order to flatten curve?
Starter Activity_Synthesis and Places_Map
2. Click on the image below and play the BBC time lapse of the spread Swine Flu in 2009. What factors do you think explain its spread?
Now study the following interactive CNN map tracking the growth and spread of covid-19
Student Activity_Spatial Interactions_Swine Flu
Watch the following video from NHS Choice to see how Swine Flu spread
Student Activity_Processes_Disease Diffusion Presentation
Watch the following short video on the differences between epidemics and pandemics and note down how disease spreads across a population.
Follow the presentation and make notes on how disease spreads through relocation and diffusion
Student Activity_Places and Processes_Map Analysis
Click on the image below, which shows the BBC mapping of the Ebola spread in Sierra Leone in 2014.
1. What type of spread was it?
2. What regional factors act as barriers to slow or prevent its spread in the region.
3. Make a list of natural and human barriers to the spread of disease
Student Activity_Processes and Possibilities_ H1N1 Spread
Read the following exert adapted from a BBC report at the early stages of the spread of H1N1 virus and identify the attempts made to manage its spread.
Student Activity_Synthesis_Disease Outbreak - Simulation Activity
Students should work in pairs and have been contracted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in their disease prevention unit.
Three urgent cases come into the office for your attention.
- An outbreak of cholera in a Jordanian refugee camp
- A heightened concern about the SARS virus, otherwise known as avian flu. The fear is that it will become a pandemic.
- The transfer of Ebola at the national scale and the global scale
You are required to work as a consultancy team to prepare a plan of disease prevention for one or more of these disease outbreaks.
You should write a plan of action to prepare, plan and prevent further disease diffusion at the scale required.
- Consider in your plan the following:
- Containment, isolation, medical provision, sanitation, travel flows, gender sensitivities, short term and long term needs
- You will present you plan to the class and your briefing should take up to 10 minutes
Student Activity_Places, Processes and Possiibilities_Research Task
Using their knowledge to date students should research one disease of choice and produce a fact sheet on how it spreads and the factors that led to the reduction of its spread.
Include in your report the following:
- Name of disease and main method of transmission, location
- The geo-physical factors that lead to the outbreak of the disease
- A description and or map of its spatial spread
- Human factors that increase human vulnerability to the disease
- A theoretical explanation of its spread
- The physical and human factors that led to a reduction of its spread.
Watch the following video as a summary of key ideas from the lesson