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Professor Uses H1N1 as a Teaching Tool
Date:9/11/2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indiana State University's exposure this week to the H1N1 virus has one of the school's environmental health sciences professors using the campus as her classroom.

Assistant Professor Maureen Johnson, who is entering her second year at the school, is teaching the course titled "Communicable and Chronic Disease and AIDS."

The course challenges students to learn about various types of pathogens - the biological agents that cause disease or illness - and to develop teaching strategies for dealing with the outbreak and spread of communicable and chronic diseases such as AIDS.

Johnson spent the summer researching and writing about the H1N1 virus, even co-authoring a journal article titled "The H1N1 Influenza Pandemic: Classroom Considerations" for the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Her interest in communicable disease has had her watching closely the news at Washington State University. Since school began there in late August, more than 2,600 of that school's nearly 18,000 students have contacted the Health and Wellness Services center to report flu-like symptoms. The extensive outbreak has led school officials there to develop an online blog that is updated daily with flu-related news.

Even for Johnson, who tracks the daily updates on that blog, it's too much to say that she hoped H1N1 would find its way to the local area. But now that it has, she's doing her best to turn the negative into a positive.

"When I heard about the outbreak on campus, I thought this would be perfect for class," she said.

So during the first days of class, in between revisions of her syllabus and devising new instruction methods to suit the subject matter, Johnson sent her students out across the ISU campus to gather pertinent
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SOURCE Indiana State University
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