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Science Olympiad » Disease Detectives Event » State Event Exercises
Answer Key: Georgia Elementary Science Olympiad
May 10, 2003

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Note: For fill-in-the-blank questions, not all possible answers are provided.

(4 points total)
Problem 1.
For each item, name two diseases or health problems caused by the item.


  • lung cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, vascular disease
  • oral (mouth) cancer, tongue cancer, poor dentition (teeth problems), bad oral hygiene

(9 points total)
Problem 2.
Station B (swimming pool).
For this problem, think about different kinds of health problems and dangers that can be present at public swimming pools.

Identify three different kinds of health risks, and two ways to prevent each health risk.


Health Risk or Danger

Prevention Methods

1. Drowning 1. swim lessons; floatation devices;
2. lifeguard; donít dive in shallow water
2. Falls, Trips, Slips 1. donít run; no horseplay;
2. pick up trip hazards
3. Water-borne diseases/Sunburn 1. donít drink water; keep human waste out of pool;
2. maintain chlorine level; maintain purification system
sunscreen; wear hat; cover body; stay out of midday sun

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 (5 points)
Problem 3.

Health department Disease Detectives helped two high schools Ė Elm School and Oak School Ė to do surveys to identify how many students have tried smoking cigarettes. The results of the survey are given in this table:

As the chief health officer, if you could chose which school to visit to educate kids about the health problems related to smoking, which school would you choose and why?


(a) school: Either school could be correct
(b) reason for choosing school: Either the higher proportion (Elm School) or the higher number (Oak School) of students who tried cigarettes.

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Station C: Hamburger Meat

(6 points total)
Problem 4. Station C (hamburger meat).

(a) Name something (an agent, organism, or other biologic thing) that can cause sickness or disease in humans if present in this item.


  • bacteria; viruses; parasites; microbial agents; fat

(b) For this item, list one health problem (a kind of illness, disease or condition) that might result from eating this item.


  • vomiting; diarrhea; gastroenteritis; heart disease; obesity

(c) Give one way to prevent health problems that might result from eating this item.


  • cook thoroughly; wash hands after handling; donít eat until cooked; eat leaner meats

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(9 points total)
Problem 5.
Match the following terms. Write the letter for the term in column B in the space for the correct term in column A. Each term in column B is used only once.


d - alcohol a. obesity, or being seriously overweight
e - surgical gloves b. risk factor for skin cancer
b - sunburn c. only disease ever eradicated
g - smoke detector d. risk factor for liver disease
i - cigarette smoking e. prevent hospital infections
h - vaccination f. prevents injuries in crashes
a - poor diet g. important part of a fire safety plan
f - seat belt h. measles prevention
c - smallpox i. leading cause of preventable deaths in USA

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Station D: Mosquitoes

(8 points total)
Problem 6. Station D (mosquitoes).

(a) List one human health problem or disease associated with this insect.


  • Malaria; West Nile Virus; encephalitis

(b) On the following lines, briefly explain how people may get sick from contact with this insect.


  • Good explanation of: vector cycle; inoculation into susceptible host; parasites

(c) Give 2 ways to prevent health problems caused by this insect.


  1. Wear long sleeves; wear insect repellent; larvicide in standing water;

  2. Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dawn and dusk);

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(9 points total)
Problem 7. Station E (table of data about students who visited the zoo).

A class from a school visited the zoo on a field trip. As part of the trip, the class had a chance to pet a large lizard in the reptile house. After visiting the reptile house, the class had lunch. Some students bought lunch at the zoo and some brought their lunch from home. After lunch, they returned to school. Later in the day, some of the students got sick. Disease Detectives were called in to investigate the outbreak. They asked each student what they did before they got sick. The studentsí answers are in the table.

(a) The Disease Detectives decided that it wasnít lunch that made some students sick. How did they use the information about lunches from the data table to make that decision?


  • Because similar proportions of students who brought their lunch from home (6 of 14, 43%) and who bought their lunch at the zoo (5 of 11, 45%) got sick.

(b) What activity probably made the students sick? Again, using information from the data table, how do you know?


  • Petting the lizard (and not washing their hands before eating) is probably what made the students sick. 10 of 13 students who petted the lizard got sick (77%); only 1 of 14 students who didnít pet the lizard got sick (7%).

(c) How could this outbreak have been prevented?


  • Students should have washed their hands before eating; especially after handling an animal.

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(10 points total)
Problem 8.
Station F (graphs of TB data).

Tuberculosis or ďTBĒ is an infectious disease. It is caused by a bacterium that usually infects the lungs. TB is spread through the air from person to person. When someone with TB coughs, sneezes, or otherwise sprays TB germs from their lungs, someone else can breathe them in and get infected with TB. Answer the questions below by looking at the two graphs.

  1. A case rate is the number of cases of a disease divided by the size of the population being studied. What was the national average TB case rate in 2001?


     5.6 cases per 100,000


  2. How many states had TB case rates that were greater than the national case rate?


     14** states 

    **Note: Washington, DC is not a state and New York City is part of the state of New York.


  3. Where do TB case rates tend to be higher?

    a. In the Northeast part of the country.

    b. Answer - In the Southeast part of the country.

    c. Case rates are basically the same everywhere.


  1. Which of the following statements is false?

    a. There were more TB cases in 1993 than in 1984.

    b. For the years shown in the Figure, the year with the fewest TB cases was 2001.

    c. Answer - For the years shown in the Figure, the only year when there were fewer than 20,000 TB cases was 1999.


  2. How many TB cases were there in the United States in 2001?

    a. About 10,000

    b. About 25,000

    c. Answer - About 16,000

    d. Cannot tell from the Figure

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End of Disease Detectives Event

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This page last reviewed April 24, 2007

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