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Students often don’t know the basic facts about the virus, teachers say, like what it is or how it’s different from the common cold or the flu.

How much detail teachers share depends on students’ ages, Brock said.

The study, conducted by Horizon Research Inc., with help from the National Science Teachers Association and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, found that 80 percent of middle school teachers and 46 percent of elementary school teachers discussed Ebola in class.

Reed, the science teacher, acknowledges in his lesson plan that students may come into class having heard untrue rumors about coronavirus.

His lesson draws on guides from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and instructs teachers to correct students’ misconceptions.

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