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Epidemiologic Case Studies

Computer-based Overview

Gastroenteritis at a University
in Texas (CB3076)

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 appropriate response to a potential foodborne illness complaint.
  • List disease categories to include in the differential diagnosis of an acute gastrointestinal illness, given clinical information.
  • List three important considerations when collecting stool specimens from patients.
  • Outline a hypothesis on the source of an outbreak, given information on the disease, the descriptive epidemiology of cases, and results of hypothesis-generating interviews.
  • Select an epidemiologic study type to investigate the source of an outbreak, given circumstances around the outbreak.
  • Interpret epidemiologic study findings.
  • Identify information to include in an outbreak investigation report.
  • Describe the epidemiology (e.g., occurrence, transmission, and control) of norovirus.

Knowledge of basic public health and epidemiologic concepts (including descriptive epidemiology, study design, and data analysis)



2 to 3 hours

Continuing Education
This course, CB3076, has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

Origin Date: 01/17/2006
Expiration Date: 01/16/2012

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
    • 54 MB if installing the case study from the CD or downloading the Complete Package from the Internet
    • 22 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, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases/Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Branch, and Food Safety Office)
  • Office of Workforce and Career Development (Division of Training and Curriculum Services)

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 gastroenteritis in Texas: Nicholas A. Daniels, David A. Bergmire-Sweat, Kellogg J. Schwab, Kate A. Hendricks, Sudha Reddy, Steven M. Rowe, Rebecca L. Fankhauser, Stephan S. Monroe, Robert L. Atmar, Roger I. Glass, Paul S. Mead, Ree A. Calmes-Slovin, Dana Cotton, Charlie Horton, Sandra G. Ford, and Pam Patterson.

Page Last Modified: February 26, 2009


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Contact Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of Workforce and Career Development

Mail Stop E-96
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
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Safer Healthier People

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