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How does disease spread?

Lesson Plan
CDC NERD person-to-person transmission graphic.

In module 2, students learn how infectious diseases are spread. Students identify key components of a chain of infection, assess the spread of an infectious agent, and design evidence-based prevention strategies to reduce disease spread. Students also learn what it takes to pursue a public health career as an infection prevention specialist.

Educational Video for Students

This video will help students answer the question “How does disease spread?”

During this video, students will see how infection prevention specialists use information on the type of infectious agent, how it is spread, and common ways it exits and enters its hosts to create a chain of infection model. This information can then be used to identify appropriate prevention strategies to reduce the spread of the disease.

Activity Demonstration for Teachers

In this activity, students use think, pair, share, and concept mapping to create a possible chain of infection for NERD and brainstorm strategies to reduce the spread of disease.

This video illustrates how to teach this activity in a classroom setting. It demonstrates how teachers can prepare handouts and arrange classrooms for student learning and engagement.

Public Health Career Spotlight: Infection Prevention Specialist

An infection prevention specialist studies diseases and helps develop ways to detect, prevent, and control their spread.

  • Watch the videos below to bring a real CDC infection prevention specialist into your classroom. Share the links with students and encourage them to watch with family and share with friends.
  • Download the poster below and display it in the classroom for reference and discussion when you talk about a career as an infection prevention specialist.

Hear from Davina, a real CDC infection prevention specialist, as she describes what she does, what she studied in school, and the skills she uses in her daily work.

Hear from Davina, a real CDC infection prevention specialist, as she describes her career path and how she works with other STEM professionals to help people stay healthy.

Learn what it takes to be an infection prevention specialist.

Woman epidemiologist standing with lab coat.

To learn about the other careers featured in NERD Academy, visit the collection of public health career spotlights.

To learn more about public health STEM careers at CDC, encourage students to visit See Yourself in a Public Health Career.