Distemper Outbreaks

Team: 17

School: Gadsden Mid

Area of Science: Epidemiology

Interim: Team Number: 17
School Name: Gadsden Middle School
Area of Science: Epidemiology
Project Title: The effects of Distemper on the Animal Shelter

Team Members: Chiton Mendoza, Damien Sanchez, Abel Romero
Sponsoring Teacher: Danielle McFarland

Problem Definition:
Distemper is a virus with a high mortality rate, only about half of the adult dogs survive distemper while only 20 percent of the puppies survive. Doña Ana Humane Society had a distemper outbreak where 7 dogs were tested positive for distemper and a big amount of the 348 dogs and 52 puppies present had to be euthanized. This simulation would give us results showing the number of dogs and puppies that are subject to die due to distemper in a humane society outbreak.

Problem Solution:
The environment in which this simulation is ran in a “humane society” environment. The dogs are kept in chain link kennels. Any virus that the dogs carry can be passed by contact. This simulation will help model in various city size population and numbers of dogs that test positive for Distemper at a humane society. We will experiments with various city dog population sizes—based on research for our surrounding area human societies. The variable amount of dogs starting the Distemper outbreak, testing positive for it, so that the human society and community can be aware of how this disease affects our community resource and so that those that have pets are aware that vaccinating their pets, in case they do get picked up by animal control should be important.

Progress to Date
Our simulation on Star Logo Nova is called distemper infection. Where the puppies have an 80% chance mortality rate, but the adult dogs had a 50% chance mortality rate. In our simulation, the dog’s procedural movement is a kennel like movement we set the dogs and puppies to walk in a rectangular pattern which simulates how the dogs and the puppies are inside of a kennel away from Humane Society, but they could still have contact with each other. The dogs that are roaming outside of the kennel like movement and the dogs and the puppies that are inside the kennel like movement could still have contact with the dogs and puppies in neighboring kennels. We created 342 dogs and 52 puppies and we ran several percentages until 7 dogs started the outbreak which is the number that originally started distemper.
Expected Results:
After programming, testing, and working with variable Distemper outbreak numbers, the result will show how many dogs and puppies that would be affected by an outbreak like the one this summer in Dona Ana. We expect most puppies and many dogs at a humane society to be euthanized because the virus has to run its course and there is very little treatment, so most dogs and puppies that are tested positive will not make it. The various human society population of dogs and puppies should affect the spread and mortality rate of this virus.

Team Members:

  damian sanchez
  Jonathan Garcia

Sponsoring Teacher: Danielle McFarland

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