Who are the real-life disease detectives, and what scientific skills and knowledge
are needed to work through the Disease Detectives exercise?
Disease detectives include epidemiologists, laboratory scientists,
statisticians, physicians and other health care providers, and public
health professionals whose interests include preventing disease and
promoting health. Students participating in the event will need a basic
understanding of epidemiology, which is the scientific method of problem
solving used by public health practitioners to study diseases and other
health conditions and to investigate outbreaks. See also Careers
How will the Disease Detectives event work in the Science Olympiad?
Students will be given background on a real disease outbreak or other public
health problem and will use the problem-solving methods of epidemiology
to work through the problem, examine the cause, and recommend solutions,
just as disease detectives do. The exercises used in the Science
Olympiad event will be based on information contained in reports
published about outbreaks and other problems in publications such as
medical journals, public health epidemiology bulletins, and newspaper
and magazine accounts.
Where can I find more information about diseases and disease outbreaks?
Suggested supplemental reading includes The Medical Detectives, by Berton Roueche
and The Cobra Event, by Richard Preston. Both of these books are
written for the general audience and are entertaining as well as
informative. See More Resources for a list
of web sites, books, and journal article.
Back to Disease Detectives Event