Disease spread lab

Name .............................................Date ...................Laboratory


The Spread of Disease:



The way in which a disease spreads through a population demands the careful collection and analysis of data. One infected person can spread disease throughout a population quickly with only minimal contact with others. When an outbreak of an infectious disease occurs, scientists must track down and determine the origin of the disease. In this laboratory investigation, you will simulate the spread of an infectious disease transmitted through direct contact and determine the original carrier of the disease.



Large test tube of unknown solution

Small test tube


Test solution



1. Select one of the prepared solutions and a dropper.

2. Circulate and find a consenting partner. Using the medicine dropper, exchange a full dropper of your solution with your partner. Be sure to get a full dropper in return from that same student. Record the name of that person as contact #1 in Data Table 1.

3. Repeat step three and record the persons name as contact #2.

4. Repeat step three and record the persons name as contact #3.

5. Your teacher will now add the indicator to determine whether you have been infected.

6. Your teacher will record all of the data on the board. Record the data of your classmates in Data Table 2.



1. How many people were infected at the start of this investigation?

2. How many people were infected at the end of the first round of contacts?

3. How many people were infected at the end of this investigation?



1. From the data, try to find the original source of the infection.

2. Were you able to correctly identify the original carrier? If not, why not?

3. Make a diagram of the transmission route.

4. Does the rapid spread surprise you?

5. What would have happened if we were allowed four contacts? Five contacts?

6. Would the disease have been able to spread if you were allowed only one contact? If so, how?

7. How has this lab affected your thoughts on washing your hands and other health measures?

8. How could this disease spread have been prevented?


Data Table 1

Your stock # Contact #1 Contact #2 Contact #3


Data Table 2

Infected person Contact #1 Contact #2 Contact #3