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Tracking the Spread of Infectious Diseases

kit #906

Contagious diseases can spread quickly through a population. If an infected individual mingles with healthy individuals, random contact can cause many more to become infected. This activity simulates the transmission of a contagious disease and the steps epidemiologists take to try to determine its source and limit its spread. Two scenarios are provided, one for an infection spreading among humans and another among livestock. If desired, the kit materials can also be used to simulate different “trackable” spreading event scenarios such as an invasive species or an outbreak of food poisoning. This activity also introduces the concept of exponential growth.


  • Disease is a breakdown in structures or functions of an organism. Some diseases are the result of intrinsic failures of the system. Others are the result of damage by infection by other organisms.
  • Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories
  • Safe living involves the development and use of safety precautions and the recognition of risk in personal decisions.
  • Important personal and social decisions are made based on perceptions of benefits and risks.

Content List in Tracking the Spread of Infectious Diseases is as follows:

Tracking the Spread of Infectious Diseases

number of students



one to two ~50 minute class periods

Title Item # Price Quantity
Tracking the Spread of Infectious Diseases 906 $38.05 $38.05