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High School

Lesson 2

Case Study: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic – Factors Beyond the Biological that Influence the Spread of Disease

Students learn the different ways that influenza virus can mutate and what impact that
has on how rapidly and widely the virus spreads. The class develops a hypothesis
regarding the impact of World War I on the spread of influenza. Student groups
research topics related to the 1918 influenza pandemic and assess whether the findings support or reject the class hypothesis. 

Lesson Questions

• How does influenza virus change to cause a pandemic?
• How do social and political factors affect the spread of disease?

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