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Gastroenteritis at a University in Texas (CB3076)

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 - 3 hours

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.

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
    Mail Stop E-96
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    8am-8pm ET/Mon-Fri
    Closed Holidays
  • The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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