Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Understanding the Epidemiologic Triangle through Infectious Disease
Working the Epidemiologic Triangle

Download this Activity

Description:
This activity will get students interested in infectious diseases by discussing and charting their own experiences. Students will, without knowing it, act like young epidemiologists.

The activity also will help you teach about the scientific concept of the Epidemiologic Triangle using an infectious disease example. Once students understand the Triangle, they can apply it to other diseases they study. This exercise will refine research, reasoning, and problem solving skills.

You will present the Epidemiologic Triangle to students and show them how it helps organize information about a specific disease. This is the same technique that epidemiologists use when they are researching the outbreak of a disease.

You will use the example of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in describing the three vertices (corners) of the Epidemiologic Triangle. Those vertices are "agent," "host," and "environment." After this in-class introduction, students will gather information about chickenpox and report back to the class on what they have learned.

Objectives:
Students will:

  • Describe what infectious diseases are and how they spread
  • Explore their own family's experience with infectious diseases
  • Describe the interaction and interdependence of agent host, and environment—the Epidemiologic Triangle
  • Apply this concept to other diseases
  • Describe how epidemiologists think about the causes and spread of an infectious disease

 

Relevant Standards:
This activity fulfills science and health education standards.

BAM! Body and Mind Resources:

  • Disease Detectives — Profiles CDC "detectives" as they track down the source of diseases and help stop them.
  • The Immune Platoon — Profiles the body's own super hero team dedicated to protecting it from infectious and other diseases that threaten good health.
  • Power Packing — Tips for students on packing a safe lunch that keeps them fueled all day long.
  • Stalking SARS — Students can track SARS and CDC's work to stop it from the beginning in this interactive feature.
  • Operation Flame Out — Students can examine the process that CDC uses to tackle public health problems such as smoking.

 

 

 

Contact Us:
  • Division of Population Health/School Health Branch
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    4770 Buford Highway, Northeast, Mailstop K-27
    Atlanta, GA 30341
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #