- Reading 1 Module Introduction
- Activity 1a Disease Sorting
- Activity 1b Virtual Card Sort
- Activity 1 Discussion
- Reading 2 Agents of Disease
- Reading 2 Videos
- Activity 2 Timeline
- Reading 3 Ebola, Measles, COVID-19
- Reading 3 Videos
- Activity 3 Are Viruses Alive?
- Activity 3 Videos
- Activity 3 Discussion
- Additional Resources
Timeline of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics
This interactive timeline shows the occurrence of a sample of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics over human history. Students should recognize that epidemics are part of human life, are the result of human activity, and have consequences for the infrastructure of societies. For each disease information is provided about the biology of the agent of disease, the ecological, social, cultural, and biological factors involved in spread of the disease, and the consequences of the disease.
Possible ways to use the timeline include the following:
- discussing each example as a whole class and looking for common patterns in the factors;
- having a “jigsaw” learning strategy in which teams become experts in each epidemic or disease and then sharing their understandings to the class;
- having students as individuals or in pairs determine the ecological, social, cultural, and biological factors involved in spread of the disease.
Students will be returning to the timeline in other modules in this series.
What epidemics do you know about? This interactive timeline provides examples of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics that have occurred over the course of human history. These occurrences are the result of human activity, and have consequences for the infrastructure of societies.
As you read about the different diseases on the timeline, decide which ones are outbreaks (the occurrence of a disease in a community, in numbers greater than expected for that community), epidemics (the occurrence of a disease derived from a common source in far greater excess of what would be normally expected in a community or region) and pandemics (a worldwide epidemic.)
Note that a worldwide epidemic may have begun as an outbreak, escalated to the level of an epidemic and eventually spread to a number of countries, affecting large numbers of the population in each.