The spread of disease

Did you see the news about the man who sneezed himself into hospital?

This Core Maths resource (based on the Motivate ‘Disease Dynamics’ materials) includes three activities that model how disease spreads using dice, playing cards and spreadsheets.

For the dice game you will need 20 to 30 counters. Take one counter as ‘patient zero’ and roll the dice.

·         A score of 1 or 2 infects no-one else

·         A 3,4 or 5 infects one person

·         A score of 6 infects two further people

After each roll, move the number of new cases into the infected column and roll again for each new infection. Repeat until no one is infected after a round of rolls- or the entire population is infected.

Ask students how they can record the information, and invite them to see how changing the model changes the outcome. How likely is the result they obtained to happen again, if they repeated the exact same experiment?

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Subject(s)Mathematics
Age16-19, FE/HE
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