Virus Prevention and Control

Students will select a disease of their choosing and, based on epidemiological principles, propose a strategy to reduce or eliminate the disease. Students will have had their disease topic approved by the instructor before writing their proposal paper.

The choice of disease may be wide-ranging, from acute (Ebola virus) to chronic (HIV/AIDS) infectious diseases, to non-infectious diseases such as obesity, diabetes, mental illnesses, or even roadway accidents. Further, the choice of strategy may be of varied scope and scale (from a small community to the United States), may include one component (e.g., screening) or multiple components (e.g., screening, vaccinations, and modifying the built environment), and may be of any geographic location.

Specific guidelines are discussed below:

1. This assignment is to write a 1,000-word proposal paper (not including the title page or references page), which includes a minimum of 5 scholarly references, not including the textbook or lectures.

2. The content of the Disease Control Strategy proposal should cover four key areas: • The need for the strategy – what impacts does the disease have on individuals and communities? For example, does it reduce life expectancy? How does it impact functioning and quality of life? Is it expensive for our healthcare systems once individuals are infected? How you describe the need for the strategy will vary based on your disease topic, but you should make a clear case why it warrants immediate attention. • The current state of the disease – in epidemiological terms, what does the disease “look like”? For example, what are the incidence and prevalence rates? Are there disparities by race/ethnicity, geographic location, etc., in risk or outcome? • What is known about the causal nature of the disease – using epidemiological terms, what do we know about the disease and what causes it? For example, how is it spread? How long does it take for someone to develop an illness after exposure? What is known about major causes of the disease? Are there any comorbid conditions associated with the disease? • What should be done about the disease? This is the “strategy” portion of the proposal. This portion of the proposal is where you will be creative by suggesting how we should try to prevent or eliminate the disease. This strategy should make sense given what you describe in the previous three key areas, and especially the third (the causal nature of the disease). The strategy will not be judged by the feasibility of its implementation, but rather on the rationale behind the ideas.