From the Center for Disease Control:
CDC has released a graphic novel to help young people understand the potential health risks of human influenza viruses that normally circulate in swine and can cause disease in people (known as variant flu infections). This coincides with a report by CDC in FluView today of 4 new variant virus infections associated with attendance at agricultural fairs in two U.S. states.
While variant flu infections in people are rare, they can sometimes lead to serious illness, including hospitalization and death. Most variant flu infections occur in children exposed to infected pigs or their environments in agricultural fair settings. During 2017, 67 variant virus infections were reported in the United States, six of which resulted in hospitalization. Two of these hospitalizations involved children who were admitted into an intensive care unit.
CDC developed the graphic novel in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-H, the youth development organization affiliated with USDA. The novel – available as a free mobile app – follows a group of teenage 4-H members who participate in a state agricultural fair and later attend CDC’s Disease Detective Camp in Atlanta.
CDC collaborated with teachers participating in its Science Ambassador Fellowship to develop educational activities to accompany the graphic novel for use in middle and high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms across the country.
Earlier this year the CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship piloted the first of these activities with over 120 middle and high school STEM teachers. This activity is being released with the graphic novel, and the program plans to roll out additional classroom activities throughout the 2018-2019 school year.
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