BIO 215 – Microbiology Online assignment #3 – Epidemiology You


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BIO 215 – Microbiology Online assignment #3 – Epidemiology You may use any material necessary to answer these questions – the text, the internet, etc. Please turn in hard copy. You may use the internet, your labs, your text and notes or any other sources to find the answers to these questions. Epidemiology is the study of when and where diseases occur and how they are transmitted. The ultimate goal of an epidemiological study is disease prevention. Epidemiology focuses on populations rather than individuals. There are certain notifiable diseases that physicians must report to their local department of public health when a patient is diagnosed. These cases are ultimately forwarded to the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). When studying an infection outbreak, it is essential to determine the reservoir of infection (a place for the pathogen to live before and after an infection). Humans are the reservoir for many pathogens; however, animals are also reservoirs for certain human pathogens. A human disease caused by a pathogen with an animal reservoir is called a zoonosis. Having an animal reservoir will have profound effects on the pattern of disease because such disease can be very hard to control. This exercise is designed to give you a tour of the CDC, WHO and principles of disease control. Read the associated literature and answer the questions following each section. 1. Case Study: Ebola http://www.stanford.edu/group/virus/filo/filo.html Read the introduction, brief history and transmission. Next read through Tropism and Pathogenesis. Look over the following case study and answer these questions. Part 1 You are a veterinarian at a Veterinary Public Health Unit for an international organization. On a Friday afternoon, you receive the alarming message that the Ebola virus has been isolated from a group of Cynomologus monkeys (macaques – Macaca fascicularis) at a pharmaceutical laboratory in the United States of America. The group of monkeys originated from the Philippines and had arrived in the USA only 6 weeks ago. On their way to the USA, the monkeys changed planes at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. The monkeys were taken to the “Animal Hotel” in Schiphol where they received some water before they continued their journey to JFK airport. The animals remained at JFK for 24 hours before they were transported by truck to their final destination at the pharmaceutical company in Virginia. At their final destination, the monkeys were kept in the quarantine section where the animals started to die 2-4 weeks after their arrival. Tissue samples of the dead monkeys were sent to a high containment laboratory. Ebola or Ebola – like virus was isolated from all of the samples. A. How would you start your investigations concerning the possible source of the infection? B. How would you investigate if there have been any human cases? C. Which persons might have been at risk for contracting the disease? D. What immediate actions will you undertake while the investigation is still ongoing? Part II During the investigation at Schipol airport in the Netherlands, you discover that at the same time the macaques had been in the Animal Hotel, two vervet monkeys (Cercopithicus aetiopicus) had been placed on top of the cage. These animals originated from Ghana and were destined for a zoo in Mexico. These monkeys shared the same water bottles with the Ebola infected macaques. E. How will this finding influence your investigation and what immediate action will you undertake or recommend? F. Is wild-capture of monkeys still permitted and what are the advantages/disadvantages compared to captive bred monkeys if the animals are destined for research? 2. Look through the web site and read about the WHO: http://www.who.int/en/ A. What is the WHO? B. How many countries are involved in the WHO? C. What is the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network? D. Explore the communicable, or infectious disease statistics (they are located in the datab

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