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Epidemiologic Case Studies

Computer-based Overview

Botulism in Argentina (CB3058)

Download this Computer-based Case Study

Target Audience
Public health practitioners with knowledge of basic epidemiologic and public health concepts including public health nurses, epidemiologists, infectious disease investigators, environmental health specialists, sanitarians, and MPH students

Learning Objectives
After completing this case study, the student should be able to:

  • Describe the occurrence, signs and symptoms, and control of foodborne botulism.
  • Describe the major steps in an outbreak investigation.
  • Critique a press release about an outbreak.
  • Construct and interpret an epidemic curve.
  • Given the leading hypotheses in an outbreak, develop a draft questionnaire.
  • Calculate and interpret the measure of association for a cohort study.
  • List activities to include in an environmental health assessment of a food implicated in an outbreak investigation.
  • Given details on the source of an outbreak, suggest short- and long-term interventions.
  • Describe measures that can be used to monitor the success of an intervention.
Successful completion of training in descriptive epidemiology, epidemic curves, measures of association, and outbreak investigation



3 to 4 hours

System Requirements
To undertake the case study, you will need the following computer hardware and software:

  • Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® 4.0 with service pack 3 or higher, or Windows 2000
  • Intel Pentium processor or equivalent
  • Available hard disk space
    • 32MB if installing the case study from the CD or downloading the Complete Package from the Internet
    • 17 MB if downloading the Alternative Package from the Internet
  • 16 MB of memory
  • 4x speed (NOTE: Only needed with CD format of program)
  • Monitor resolution of 800 x 600 with 16-bit color
  • Display font size set to "Small Fonts"
  • Mouse
Developed By
This product stems from a collaboration within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention including:
  • National Center for Infectious Diseases (Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases/ Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch and Food Safety Office)
  • Epidemiology Program Office (Division of International Health and Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics)
  • Public Health Practice Program Office (Division of Professional Development and Evaluation)
  • Public Health Training Network

The development team included Jeanette K. Stehr-Green, MD, Nancy Gathany, MEd, and Barbara Orisich, MS.

Original Investigation Team
The following individuals investigated the original outbreak of botulism in Argentina: Rodrigo G. Villar, Roger L. Shapiro, Silvina Busto, Clara Rive-Posse, Guadalupe Verdejo, Maria Isabel Farace, Francisco Rosetti, Jorge A. San Juan, Carlos Maria Julia, John Becher, Susan E. Maslanka, and David Swerdlow.

E-Learning Icon
The case study received the American Society for Training and Development's E-Learning Courseware Certification by meeting ASTD`s rigorous standards for instructional design and usability.


Logo for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology
The case study has also received the 2002 Outstanding Practice Award from the Design and Development Division of the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). This award is given to individuals or groups that have designed exemplary instructional materials or systems.


Page Last Modified: January 25, 2006


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A
Tel: (404) 639-3311 / Public Inquiries: (404) 639-3534 / (800) 311-3435