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Epidemiologic Case Studies

Computer-based Overview

E. coli O157:H7 Infection in Michigan (CB3075)

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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:
  • Determine whether an increase in reports of a disease represents an outbreak.
  • Write a case definition for an epidemiologic investigation.
  • Summarize the descriptive epidemiology of cases in an outbreak.
  • List questions for in-depth interviews of cases to generate hypotheses about the source of an outbreak.
  • Outline key considerations in designing a case-control study.
  • Analyze the results of a case-control study.
  • List detailed product information that will facilitate traceback of a food implicated in an outbreak.
  • Describe the unique role the laboratory can play in an outbreak investigation.
  • Describe infection with E. coli O157:H7.

Successful completion of training in descriptive epidemiology, study design, and data analysis



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
    • 48 MB if installing the case study from the CD or downloading the Complete Package from the Internet
    • 19 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)
  • Public Health Practice Program Office (Division of Professional Development and Evaluation)
  • Public Health Training Network
The development team included Jeanette K. Stehr-Green, MD and Nancy Gathany, MEd with Erick Emde, MM.

Original Investigation Team
The following individuals investigated the original outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infection in Michigan and Virginia: Thomas Breuer, Denise H. Benkel, Roger L. Shapiro, William N. Hall, Mary M. Winnett, Mary Jean Linn, Jakob Neimann, Timothy Barrett, Stephen Dietrich, Francis P. Downes, Denise M. Toney, James L. Pearson, Henry Rolka, Laurence Slutsker, and Patricia M. Griffin.
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
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