Outbreaks of viral disease are a continuing threat in the United States as well as abroad.

The Centers for Disease control and other international agencies devote considerable resources to surveillance and detection programs as well as advancement of communicable disease prevention and mitigation measures. Preventing outbreaks is the ultimate goal, but establishing protocols that ensure preparedness in the event of an outbreak is also important. For this discussion you have an opportunity to characterize key features of a virus with epidemic or even pandemic potential and chose one disease you feel would be best suited for significant research and pre-emptive efforts.

Before beginning this discussion, please view the documentary the “Age of Viruses”:

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The Age of Viruses (Video, 50:39 mins)

This video introduces you to some of the major challenges facing scientists and medical professionals as they try to combat emerging, highly infectious, and resistant viral diseases.

When you watch the video, make note of where many of these diseases emerge and how they emerge. Many emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic diseases and tracking down viral origins and reservoirs can be challenging. This video illustrates both the tremendous strides we have made in our understanding of viruses and how fragile humankind remains in the face of infectious agents. Keep the following questions on hand as you view the video.

  1. What are the attributes of a particularly dangerous emerging infectious disease?
  2. What features of modern society influence dissemination of viral diseases of this nature?

Using the information you learned from the readings and videos you have reviewed this week to support your answers, address these questions in your discussion post.

  1. If you were in charge of distributing one-hundred million dollars in research funds but could only chose one viral disease to provide for, which disease would you endow and why?
  2. How do you think the medical and scientific community should use your millions?

For information about writing your discussion posts, consult Discussion Tips. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it. When you are ready to make your initial posting, please click on the “Create Thread” button for a new thread, or “Reply” to respond to a previous post, copy/paste the text from your document into the message field and click “Submit.”

Your main post must be at least 150 words. It should include citations and references to support your conclusions. You must also respond to at least two of your classmates’ main posts in a substantial manner, and answer all questions from the instructor. Your main posts should be submitted by Thursday of each week. All discussions are evaluated according to the SLA Discusion Rubric and combined are worth 15% of your final grade.

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