Flu Epidemic

Chenaniah Heartfield

P.S. 129M




People are increasingly dying from the flu City-wide .You will be responsible in researching and investigating  the “ Why” and the “ How” to this flu epidemic .You will be using the Public Policy Analysis (PPA) method to explain the nature of the current flu epidemic and consider some responses to it.  There are six steps in the process, let’s look it over.


You will notice that there are six steps in doing an analysis:

1.   What is the problem?

2.   Where is the evidence?

3.   What are the causes?

4.   What is the existing policy?

5.   What policies can you create to correct the problem?

6.   What is the best policy to correct the problem?


So now let’s get started:




      Your teacher will assign you to groups to follow the process and each develop an oral report and story board that depicts the development of new policies to deal with the topic they’ve chosen (ex. poster, pamphlet) Your story board will be displayed in class and maybe shown throughout the school to help other students understand the problems caused by this flu epidemic and possible solutions.




            After being divided into groups, your group leader will assign each member a role in analyzing the problem of dealing with the flu. Students will be grouped in five with each given a role.  Who will identify and define the problem: FLU Epidemic. Gather evidence of the problems. Identify causes of the problem. Create three of your own solutions / public policies. Evaluate the effectiveness of your public policies All you should use the material contained in the resources section of this web quest to understand the facts. Then, considering the six steps in doing an analysis:, you will undertake a part of the task assigned:

a)    Write an outline for an oral report on the problems caused by the flu.

b)    Actually give the oral report to the class- you will need to rehearse this!

c)    Develop and produce a  story board

Each part of this will be graded and every student is expected to play a role.




What's the Flu?

It’s an illness caused by a super-contagious virus that can make you feel miserable. Doctors call it influenza. Its symptoms are usually more serious than the sneezes and stuffy nose that you tend to get from a common cold.


How bad is it?

The 2018 flu season is shaping up to be bad—potentially the worst one since 2014-2015, which was “the most severe season in recent years,” as the Centers for Disease Control        

This Flu Season Is the Worst in Nearly a Decade By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.JAN. 26, 2018


An emergency room nurse treating a flu patient in Vista, Calif., this month. CreditMike Blake/Reuters


This year’s flu season is now more intense than any since the 2009 swine flu pandemic and still getting worse, federal health officials said on Friday.

Nationally, the number of people falling ill with flu is increasing. More worrying, the hospitalization rate — a predictor of the death rate — has just jumped.

It is now on track to equal or surpass the 2014-2015 flu season. In that year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, 34 million Americans got the flu, 710,000 were hospitalized and about 56,000 died.

“We’ll expect something around those numbers,” Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, director of the C.D.C.’s influenza division, said during a telephone news conference Friday.

This week, the deaths of seven children were reported to the C.D.C., bringing this season’s total to 37. In 2014-2015, there were 148 pediatric deaths — which the agency tracks individually, not by estimates as it does with death totals.


By Audrey Carlsen | Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hospitalizations and deaths among people in that age group can hurt the economy more than deaths of the elderly, he noted, since they are in their peak earning years and often in supervisory positions.

They are also less likely to be protected. Recently, about 41 percent of that age group has gotten flu shots, while 57 percent of those over age 65 have; and the elderly usually get shots that are four times as powerful because their immune systems are weaker.

Despite the efforts of public health officials, the number of people getting shots each year has begun falling slightly.

Three weeks ago, the C.D.C. thought cases had peaked during the week between Christmas and New Years Day. But they have climbed since, and Dr. Jernigan said it appeared to be due to “kids returning to school.”



Until recently, the severity indexes had languished behind the measures of intensity.

The agency’s national “Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance Index” ripples like a sine wave, rising in winter and falling in summer. Until recently, the red line indicating deaths had remained firmly below the “epidemic threshold” even as the red line on a different index tracking doctor’s visits was following the pattern set by the 2014-2015 season with eerie exactness.

Then, two weeks ago, the intensity line plodded steadily beyond the 2014-2015 Christmas week peak, but the mortality line initially did not budge. But it is now shooting upward at the high trajectory angle of a North Korean rocket, has passed the peaks of the last two seasons and is on track to match or surpass 2014-2015.

A version of this article appears in print on January 27, 2018, on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: This Flu Season Is the Worst in Nearly a Decade. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

Hospitalizations and deaths among people in that age group can hurt the economy more than deaths of the elderly, he noted, since they are in their peak earning years and often in supervisory positions.

Intensity is high by two different measures the C.D.C. uses. For three weeks straight, the health departments of 49 states — all except Hawaii — have reported “widespread” flu activity.

Also, sentinel sites in 39 states, New York City and Puerto Rico are reporting “high” flu levels. (The sites include more than 2,000 emergency rooms, clinics and doctor’s offices that report each week what percentage of their patients have flu symptoms.)

According to the C.D.C.’s weekly FluView, 6.6 percent of all patients visiting doctors now have flu symptoms. The 2014-2015 flu season peaked at 6 percent, while the 2009 “swine flu” season peaked at 7.7 percent.

“The number of jurisdictions experiencing high activity went from 21 states to 26 states and New York City and the number of states reporting widespread activity went from 36 to 46,” wrote the public health agency in a recent post. “Influenza-like illness (ILI) went from 4.9% to 5.8%. ‎These indicators are similar to what was seen at the peak of the 2014-2015 season, which was the most severe season in recent years.” In some states, like California, emergency rooms have already been overwhelmed with people suffering from the flu.


Causes of flu transmission

Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks. You can inhale the droplets directly, or you can pick up the germs from an object — such as a telephone or computer keyboard — and then transfer them to your eyes, nose or mouth.

People with the virus are likely contagious from the day or so before symptoms first appear until about five days after symptoms begin, though sometimes people are contagious for as long as 10 days after symptoms appear. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be contagious for a slightly longer time.

Influenza viruses are constantly changing, with new strains appearing regularly. If you've had influenza in the past, your body has already made antibodies to fight that particular strain of the virus. If future influenza viruses are similar to those you've encountered before, either by having the disease or by vaccination, those antibodies may prevent infection or lessen its severity.

But antibodies against flu viruses you've encountered in the past can't protect you from new influenza subtypes that can be very different immunologically from what you had before.


Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of developing influenza or its complications include:

Age. Seasonal influenza tends to target young children and older adults.

Living or working conditions. People who live or work in facilities along with many other residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, are more likely to develop influenza.

Weakened immune system. Cancer treatments, anti-rejection drugs, corticosteroids and HIV/AIDS can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to catch influenza and may also increase your risk of developing complications.

Chronic illnesses. Chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems, may increase your risk of influenza complications.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop influenza complications, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Women who are two weeks postpartum are also more likely to develop influenza-related complications.

Obesity. People with a BMI of 40 or more have an increased risk of complications from the flu.


Why Some Flus Are Deadliest in Young Adults

Hospitals are dealing with more flu patients at the same that they’re running out of IV bags—basic equipment that is in distressingly short supply across much of the country these days. IV bags, along with a lot of other medical equipment, are manufactured in Puerto Rico. The blackout after Hurricane Maria massively disrupted manufacturing on the island. The plants making IV bags have reconnected to the power grid, but hospitals are still not getting a reliable supply.

Normally, a hospital can go through hundreds of IV bags a day to replenish fluids for patients and to give drugs like antibiotics and painkillers. Some have resorted to directly injecting drugs into the vein via a procedure called “IV push.”

“If we can’t support patients coming in emergency rooms who have the flu, more people are going to die,” Deborah Pasko, director of medication safety and quality at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, told the Associated Press. “I see it as a crisis.”  CDC Recommends:

People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications & get flu symptoms should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible.

Get vaccinated if you haven’t yet. There are still weeks of flu activity to come.



If you're young and healthy, seasonal influenza usually isn't serious. Although you may feel miserable while you have it, the flu usually goes away in a week or two with no lasting effects. But high-risk children and adults may develop complications such as:



Asthma flare-ups

Heart problems

Ear infections

Pneumonia is the most serious complication. For older adults and people with a chronic illness, pneumonia can be deadly.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months.

Each year's seasonal flu vaccine contains protection from the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year's flu season. The vaccine is currently available as an injection only. The CDC no longer recommends nasal spray flu vaccinations because during recent flu seasons, the spray has been relatively ineffective.

Controlling the spread of infection

The influenza vaccine isn't 100 percent effective, so it's also important to take measures such as these to reduce the spread of infection:

Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand-washing is an effective way to prevent many common infections. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren't readily available.

Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inner crook of your elbow.

Avoid crowds. Flu spreads easily wherever people congregate — in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection. And, if you're sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides so that you lessen your chance of infecting others.






Oral Performance-Rubric

Generic Rubric for Oral Performance Student Name: Date: 0 - No response - Incoherent response - Not understandable - Information not communicated 1 - Very little information given - Uses very little vocabulary - Unnatural pausing - Fragmented statements - Barely understandable - Few statements are structurally correct 2 - Some information given - Uses limited vocabulary - Pausing is evident - Some parts are understandable - Some signs of organization and structures in sentences 3 - Most information given - Coherent - Generally structurally correct - Uses more vocabulary - Very few pauses - Most of the message is understandable 4 - All information is given - Statements are coherent, grammatically correct, and organized - Uses varied vocabulary - Pauses seem natural - Message is completely understandable - Speech seems natural .







Needs Improvement

Content (Click on Content above to see the requirements.)

All content is in the students' own words and is accurate. (A few quoted phrases or sentences are allowed.)

Almost all content is in the students' own words and is accurate.

At least half of the content is in the students' own words and is accurate.

Less than half of the content is in the students' own words and/or is accurate.

Required Elements

Storyboard included all required elements.

Storyboard included most of the requirements but left out one or two.

Storyboard is missing a few requirements and is a bit incomplete.

Many required elements are missing. This storyboard is very incomplete.

Use of Time

Used time well during each class period (as shown by observation by teacher, and documentation of progress in storyboard) with no adult reminders.

Used time well during most class periods (as shown by observation by teacher, and documentation of progress in storyboard) with no adult reminders.

Used time well (as shown by observation by teacher and documentation of progress in storyboard), but required adult reminders on one or more occasions to do so.

Used time poorly (as shown by observation by teacher and/or documentation of progress in storyboard) in spite of several adult reminders to do so.


Worked cooperatively with partner all the time with no need for adult intervention.

Worked cooperatively with partner most of time but had a few problems that the team resolved themselves.

Worked cooperatively with partner most of the time, but had one problem that required adult intervention.

Worked cooperatively with partners some of the time, but had several problems that required adult intervention.

Clarity and Neatness

Storyboard is easy to read and all elements are so clearly written, labeled, or drawn that another student could create the presentation if necessary.

Storyboard is easy to read and most elements are clearly written, labeled, or drawn. Another person might be able to create the presentation after asking one or two questions.

Storyboard is hard to read with rough drawings and labels. It would be hard for another person to create this presentation without asking lots of questions.

Storyboard is hard to read and one cannot tell what goes where. It would be impossible for another person to create this presentation without asking lots of questions.

Spelling & Grammar

No spelling or grammatical mistakes on a storyboard with lots of text. Can have one to three teeny, tiny, barely noticeable mistakes.

No spelling or grammatical mistakes on a storyboard with little text. Or if it has quite a bit of text, can have a few minor errors.

A bunch of spelling or grammatical errors on the storyboard.

Many spelling and/or grammatical errors on the storyboard.


Storyboard has plenty pictures, diagrams, games, animations, buttons or sounds to make it unique and refreshing.

Storyboard has some pictures, diagrams, games, animations, buttons or sounds. It is somewhat unique.

Storyboard has few pictures, diagrams, games, animations, buttons or sounds. It is a little on the boring side.

Storyboard has almost no pictures, diagrams, games, animations, buttons or sounds. It is quite boring.




                        Congratulations! You have provided a valuable service for your class and school. Information about the nature of the current flu epidemic will be useful to everyone who sees your work.



Standards: Video


English Language Arts Standards » Speaking & Listening » Grade 5

Standards in this strand:







Comprehension and Collaboration:

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.

Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.

Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)


English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 5


Standards in this strand:











Key Ideas and Details:

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

Craft and Structure:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).