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Human Diseases

A Webquest Activity for High School Biology




Background Information

The Task

The Process


Disease List




With all of the news lately about disease outbreaks and epidemics, it is important for us to increase our understanding of human diseases and their pathogenicity. By utilizing the worldwide web and completing this quest you will have gained insight into the nature of diseases and disease research.


Background Information

All infectious diseases can be categorized by the type of pathogen that causes them. The 4 main pathogen types are bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi. In this activity you will research a disease and the pathogen that causes it.

Before you can actually begin this project, you will need to select a disease to research from this list. Once you have selected your disease, submit it to the instructor for approval.


The Task

The Director of the Carbon County Public Health Bureau has selected you to research a disease (the one you selected) that has been diagnosed in a significant number of patients in the local area. He is concerned that an epidemic may be developing. Your task is to inform the public of the nature of this disease and its consequences.


The Process



Ok, Researcher, if you've read the above directions and suggestions, you can get cracking. Begin your research with one of the links below under the heading of Disease Information Directories.



Disease Information Directories

Diseases - Alphabetical listing of disease links

Yahoo! Diseases - Links organized by name of disease

Epidemiology Fact Sheet - A list of contagious diseases

Communicable Disease Fact Sheets - From NY State Dept. of Health

IDWL(Infectious Disease Weblink)- A directory of directories about diseases

Search Engines

CHID - Combined Health Information Database

Biosciences Index - Searches the WWW Virtual Library Database

Science/Medical Topics

OMD - Online Medical Dictionary

Life Sciences Dictionary - Terms relating to biology/medicine

The Virtual Medical Center - Search medical topics

Healthtouch - Table of Contents of Health/Medical related topics

What the Heck is a Virus? - Answers the question

Disease News & Research

CDC - Centers for Disease Control (large site)

Outbreak - Good info on all emerging diseases

NCID - National Center for Infectious Diseases

WHO - (World Health Organization ) News on communicable & infectious diseases

Other Interesting Sites


Photo Gallery of Bacterial Pathogens - Images of many disease-causing agents

The Big Picture Book of Viruses - Images of viral pathogens

The Microbial Underground - Lots of fascinating links dealing with microbiology

Cells Alive - Video images of living bacteria & other cells



*The questions used in the inquiry part of this webquest were taken from Gen Nelson's activity, "Infectious Disease Presentation" which can be found in the ACCESS EXCELLENCE Activities Exchange. http://www.


 Any comments concerning this webpage can be directed to:

D. Coffman