OUTBREAK Week 2 – Spread of the VIRUS!

Published by Kevin Lidington on

Outbreak Lesson 2:  How do viruses spread throughout the body? 

 Lesson 2

Microbes cover all of our skin, gut, and mucous membrane.  Our bodies actually have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Microbes in our stomach or gastrointestinal tract contain at least 10 trillion organisms which are thought to prevent our gut from being overcome by disease-causing organisms. Our microbes also break down vitamins, assist in digestion, turn food into absorbable nutrients and stimulate our immune system. Most of our microbes work with our bodies to help us thrive but some can cause us to become sick or even kill us. Humans produce new microbes every twenty years, yet bacteria produce new microbes every 20-30 minutes and viruses even faster! There are five major types of infectious agents or pathogenic microbes: Viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths.  

Viruses are microorganisms, making them invisible to the eye. They are not living organisms due to not being able to reproduce by themselves but rather need a host. Once it infects the host it is able to reproduce itself and replicate its genetic material using the host’s cells copying itself many times over.

Before you start to panic, remind yourself that infections do not always lead to disease. Infections occur when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and multiply. Disease happens when your cells are damaged in your body due to infection and signs and systems of illness start to appear. After this, your immune system starts to try to defend you. Your white blood cells, antibodies, and other mechanisms start to work to get rid of the foreign invader in your body. You may have symptoms of an infection at this point but that is the result of the immune system trying to eliminate the infection from the body.  Viruses, make us sick by killing cells or disrupting cell function. 


This video will give you goosebumps 



 Grab a notebook or your journal and research the following: 

 Group – Research probiotics and how they can help your body. 

 Each person in the group should research one of the following: 

*how probiotics work

*differences between the kinds of probiotics one can purchase

*what probiotics are best for daily use 

*which probiotics are best for fighting a virus

*probiotics and antibiotics

*gut flora and probiotics**

Then come together and present to the class your findings on probiotics.

Individual – Have you ever played the game telephone with a group of classmates? If you haven’t, this is where you stand in a line and whisper to someone a phrase and then the next person repeats what you said down the line. When everyone has repeated the phrase the last person repeats the phrase for all to hear and you can see how it was changed during the break down of communication from person to person. The same can be said of our bodies and infections. Just because we have a pathogenic microbe in our system that doesn’t mean our body is failing and is in the fight for its life. But once some bad communication takes over and breaks down our understanding, assumptions happen, chaos begins, feelings are hurt and you are quite possibly needing to ask for forgiveness or hide in a hole. Play this game https://drawception.com/  a few rounds and see how our words can be misunderstood and broke down. 

Community Connection

How many times have you experienced a conflict this semester? Do you tend to be argumentative or passive and run from a confrontation? When you try to explain your point of view, do you cut people off, or do you actively listen and try not to jump to conclusions? Communication is hard. If you bring in technology into play, then you can probably give way more examples of miscommunication due to lack of facial expressions, tone of voice, and texting. Have you experienced someone blow up via text because of something you said, but you didn’t mean it that way? Your words can be chill and well-meaning but the moment a miscommunication happens, a relationship could be destroyed, your integrity could be questioned or your future could be up in the air due to not being careful with what you said. Sometimes you really need to put your device away before you respond. Would you rather people assume you have good intentions and not assume the worst? Of course, but communication is a two-way street. That means you have to also assume the person talking, emailing, or texting you has good intentions with their words and not assume “the sky is falling” every time someone says something off.  Your body is the same. Our words are like pathogenic microbes. They can be harmless or do good but they can always be twisted and detrimental to your body and soul. 


Bloom’s Taxonomy: create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, use, and write

Workforce Skills – list workforce skills related to this lesson

Critical thinking, Collaboration, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, research


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