M5A1: Essay: Choose Your Own Epidemic
We discuss three acellular infectious agents in this module – viruses, prions and viroids. Infection by any one of these can have serious
consequences to human health and/or economic wellbeing. In the event of an outbreak, it is important to be able to identify and contain these
pathogens to avoid potentially deadly outbreaks. Your assignment is to choose one of the three infectious agents and consider the
epidemiological features of your selection. By epidemiological features we mean: Can you characterize the causative organism? Where does the
disease come from? Who is affected? How do they acquire the pathogen? What are the symptoms and risk factors? How is the disease dealt with once
it is discovered in order to prevent its spread? You can choose one pathogen based on the general scenario described below.
For this assignment you now work for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service. You have been assigned to
characterize a new epidemic that has spread rapidly at a farm in Montana. You arrive at the farm observe the livestock, crops and farm workers
for signs of illness. You sample the fluids and tissue of several affected organisms and bring them to a state-of-the-art USDA laboratory for
analysis. The outbreak is fictional but all the information – from the organism, to how it is acquired, to the symptoms it causes – should be
legitimate for the infectious agent. I have intentionally left out these and other details in the scenario. You will fill in the details in your
essay by addressing the following questions.
What is the affected organism (animal/plant/human or any combination)?
What are the symptoms exhibited by the affected organism(s)?
What is the pathogen that you have identified after analysis of the infected material?
How where you able to identify the agent in a laboratory?
Describe the etiology. How did the infection make its way to the farm?
Trace the fictional outbreak from its origins either locally, nationally or internationally.
Knowing how the infectious agent is disseminated, what recommendations do you make to the farm manager for containment and treatment of infected
Please visit the Excelsior Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to find at least 3 suitable citations to support the
information you provide as you portray this outbreak.
Your essay should be 2-3 pages in length, double spaced in a 10-12 point font. Please be sure to cite all sources of information, including the
text book, in the essay text and on a reference page using APA format. When you have finished your essay, attach it to the assignment drop box
and submit it to your instructor.
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer.
For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided
by your instructor.
Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Upload Submission.” Enter the
submission title and then click on “Select a file to upload.” Browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct
file name has appeared next to Submission File. Click on “Continue.” Confirm submission is correct and then click on “Accept Submission & Save.”
This course has Turnitin fully integrated into the course dropbox. This means that you should only submit your assignments to the dropbox below.
Please do not submit your assignment directly to Turnitin.com.
Once submitted, your assignment will be evaluated by Turnitin® automatically. You will be able to view an Originality Report within minutes of
your first submission that will show how much of your work has been identified as similar to other sources such as websites, textbooks, or other
student papers. Use your Originality Report as a learning tool to identify areas of your assignment that you may not have cited appropriately.
You may resubmit your assignment through this dropbox as many times as you need to check to see if you have made improvements, until the due
date of the assignment. However, once you have made your first submission, you will need to wait 24 hours after each subsequent submission to
receive a new Originality Report. Plan accordingly as you draft your assignment. Once the due date has passed, your assignment submission will
be considered final.
This assignment will be graded using the Written Assignment Grading Rubric located on the Course Rubrics page within the Start Here section of
the course. Please review the rubric prior to beginning your work so that you ensure your submission meets the criteria in place for this
assignment.This assignment is worth 10% of your final course grade.