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Real World Learning Objects: Science

The Emerging Avian H5N1 Influenza

                        Project Overview

      Avian H5N1 influenza is a subtype of influenza A that is found among poultry. Humans have little or no immunity against this strand of influenza. Infected persons exhibit respiratory symptoms and occasionally encephalitis. Health experts are predicting that the avian H5N1 influenza will be the next pandemic flu. The first known human cases of avian influenza were reported in Thailand in 2004. Since then the influenza has spread to humans in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Iraq. The World Health Organization has been tracking cases of poultry to human and human to human transmission of the influenza. In this project, students will analyze global patterns of influenza infection in order to formulate conclusions about disease transmission. The World Health Organization’s Interactive Mapping website will provide real world influenza data for students to examine. Students will also determine if the avian H5N1 influenza is currently an epidemic or a pandemic and will identify national, state, or local disease prevention strategies.