Ebola Education: Establish Factual Understanding and Ease Student Fears

Posted by Andrew Gardner on

Media coverage of the recent Ebola outbreak has been inescapable.  Though the images and stories have been scary, it’s important not to let fear and panic spread faster than the virus itself! To help explain the facts behind this serious disease, BrainPOP sought the advice of KidsHealth, a hugely popular personal health website for kids, teens, parents, and educators.

The Ebola movie outlines the most important background details of the virus, including how it spreads, its symptoms, and its level of contagiousness. We also trace the history of the virus, from its discovery in Africa in 1976 to the most recent outbreak in 2013. See how doctors treat Ebola, and why researchers are working overtime to develop a vaccine.  We owe a huge debt of thanks to KidsHealth’s staff of medical professionals for ensuring that our movie contained the most accurate, up-to-date information available. This is the first time we’ve collaborated with KidsHealth, and we know there will be more to come.

For more context about the public health response to outbreaks, check out the related GameUp offering, Cool Science Careers: Imagine Yourself. In one of its four modes, students can role-play as an epidemiologist, tracking down and diagnosing a blood-borne illness.

How are you addressing students questions and fears about the Ebola virus?  Share your approaches in the comments.