For this assignment you must watch the following film:

Outbreak(Dustin Hoffman) – Level IV Infectious Disease

Given the recent world-wide outbreak of swine flu, I thought it might be a good idea to examine highly contagious disease and its impact on society. The above film deals with a highly contagious, potentially deadly, viral infection.

In the film you will see (on a large scale) how the disease spreads from host to vector, etc. You will also see the impact of the disease on the overall health system, e.g., national, state, city, the way resources are used (or not…), and the impact on society as a whole.

On a smaller scale, you will see how the disease impacts the victim physically and psychologically, how fallout from the disease impacts family and friends, and the ways rapidly spreading contagious disease can strain local health departments.

After watching the film, you will have some gut level reactions. It might have been anger or frustration. It may have been surprise at the extent and depth of the issues surrounding the disease. Maybe it is the emotional toll the disease takes on the family as well as the victim.

It may have been something else entirely. For example, were you surprised to learn about the technology and resources that are currently available to deal with a contagious outbreak or health crisis? Were you aware of the resources provided by the Federal Government? Do we really need to worry about Level IV contagion here in the USA?

After viewing the film, choose one of the following topics to examine in relation to what you saw and in relation to the recent swine flu outbreak. You will relate all points from the film to current events regarding the spread of infection. The accompanying questions should be used as guidelines for the topic you pick.

You may follow the questions below as written, or you may expand on them or you may add a few of your own. You are free to do all of the above as well, if you so wish.

Look at the following:

Origins of the disease – What is the TRUE origin of the virus? Whether swine flu or Ebola-type viral hemorrhagic fevers (like the one in the film), how did the disease make the jump to humans? Why do we have such skewed knowledge of the true origins?


Psychological/Psychosocial aspects of the disease (being ostracized, fear of death, public paranoia, homophobia, impact on the family, etc.)


State-of-the-art infection fighting vs. good “old fashioned” barrier nursing, immunizations and their efficacy – Have we improved or has “the bug” mutated into one that is stronger and more resistant? What do we do now?


Potential for pandemic – How well prepared are governments to handle a health crisis like this from a global perspective?

Find an area that appeals to you, discuss this aspect in relation to both the film and the swine flu pandemic (this will factor heavily into your grade), and immerse yourself in researching that aspect of the infection in the film and current events.

You must include references and/or examples from the film in your paper. Be sure the film appears on the reference list (however it is NOT one of the five required references).

DO NOT cover a too broad an aspect of the topic. Narrower is better. You should work on becoming an expert on the single facet you chose.

Please remember the following points:
•This is NOT a film review or critique; nor is it a summary of the story.

•When you reference the film in your paper, be sure to stick to the facts and do not provide a summary/critique.

•When referencing the film OUTBREAK(and given the emotion present in many of the scenes of the movie), please be sure to remain objective in your referencing and your writing style. It is not necessary to say you were “touched,” “upset,” etc.

•Avoid defining the disease and presenting a paper that one could easily find on WebMD (a resource that is NOT to be used, except for a defining a symptom). While it’s easy to look up Ebola or swine flu for example, and go into what it is, how one gets it, etc., this assignment requires you to go deeper.

•The purpose of the assignment is to have you examine the full impact of the disease as it applies to the one aspect you have chosen, and examine how we handle it.

•You need a minimum of 5 references.
•Two references MUST be professional journals.
•YOU MAY NOT USE THE TEXTBOOK as one of your required 4 references.
•Your paper MUST be written in APA format.
•It needs to look like and read like an APA style literature review.
•There is substantial deduction for ignoring this requirement.