This last week, the Human Anatomy and Physiology classes of Greeley West entered their deadly disease unit, where they study epidemiology and the spread, cures, and causes for diseases. Almost on cue, the coronavirus spread to the United States and has students buzzing with increased concern about the virus and its prevention during class.
Students in class earlier this week learned about the spread of sickness through a simulated disease transmission lab. Each student got a small white cup filled with clear liquid, which represents bodily fluids. All of the cups had water in them except one, which had an odorless, colorless liquid in it called sodium hydroxide. This liquid looks identical to water other than it has a very high Ph level. The students then had to transfer their liquids between themselves and four other people to mock the transmission of the disease.
Once everyone had combined liquids enough times, a Ph indicator solution was tinctured into each students cup and turned the liquid pink if that student was “infected” with the disease.
“The most difficult part was at the end trying to figure out who was patient 0, or the person who started the disease,” said senior Joshua Hernandez, “About almost half of our class was infected and we had to draw a map to trace it back to the source.”
The lab was aimed at educating the students on the spread of infectious diseases in hopes of implementing good health behavior, like washing hands and covering coughs/sneezes to prevent disease transmission.
The students are now researching the coronavirus and making informational videos, brochures, and posters to post around the school to spread awareness for what can be a life-threatening disease.
“It was an eye opener to me since the coronavirus is literally in the U.S. now,” saidAbby Ricano. “I’m definitely doing my best to save myself from catching anything.”