School: Gadsden Mid
Area of Science: Epidemiology
Interim: Team Number: 1010
School Name: Gadsden Middle School
Area of Science: Epidemiology
Project Title: Hepatitis in a Closed Environment
Team: Haleigh Garcia, Jesus Baca, Jorge Ramirez
Tessie Leigh Villa – Guard at
Hepatitis C a virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood. Most people have no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. There are more than 200,000 US cases per year. Hepatitis C is commonly spread by sharing drug needles or accidental needle stick injuries or being born to a mother who has hepatitis C. It’s less commonly spread by contact of someone’s blood (in razors or toothbrushes), sex, and getting a tattoo or body piercing in an unregulated setting. Hepatitis C cannot, however, be spread by sharing food, drinks, or eating utensils. It also cannot be spread by hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing or sneezing.
We will be using StarLogo Nova to show how people with Hepatitis C react in a closed environment. We will conduct research on Arizona State Prison Complex Tucson and Federal Bureau of Prisons. We will find out the number of inmates in population. The prison will be conducted of research that will show if there is any people with hepatitis C. We will see if there are any rare or common symptoms of hepatitis C that the guards have seen or come across often.
Hepatitis C spread more quickly in a drug addicted population due to intravenous drug use, when sharing needles. Fifteen percent of the prison population is Hep C infected according to Arizona Central News. Our question is how many people would be exposed if they use needles for prison tattoos or drugs in a prison, sharing needles. We will use Starlogonova. We will find out from Tessie Villa how many people are in her prison population at a prison in Tucson, AZ. We will use that population to set up our project healthy population. We will start the population with a 15% of that population infected. The model will show the likeliness of hepatitis C spreading to people that are incarcerated that still share needles using drugs or getting prison tattoos. We will use the percent transmission, due to continuing use of drugs or getting prison tattoos, at 5%, then 10%, and at 15%. The outcome should be used to educate the prison and people housed there of the chance of infection spreading of Hep C.
Hopefully to educate people working or living in a prison that not using needles in a setting where many people are infected can save lives. While there might not be a 100% chance of then not using needles, any improvement
Progress to Date
In our StarLogo model, the blue agents are the healthy population and red agents that represent the population infected with hepatitis C. There’s a slider for population to compare a prison closed system to a community system. The number of people carrying hepatitis C is also a slider that can be set to a prison population vs a community population.
The transmission rate will change from 5% using needles, 10% using needles, and 15% using needles. We are running these percentages to collect our data to predict and see the transmission of hepatitis C in a prison.
We expect that more people will get infected if 15% of the population uses needles. As we lower the percentage to 10% and 5%, we will see decreases in the infected population.
Sponsoring Teacher: Danielle McFarland
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