The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak Graphic Novel

The 2.0 update is here! CDC has released two new STEM educational activities – Activity 2: Eddie’s Story and Activity 3: Hamlet’s story – for teachers to use with the Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak graphic novel. The 2.0 update also provides revisions to the educational overview” for teachers and classroom “activity 1.” All of these materials are available for download on this page in the “Educational Activities” section. See the spotlight article for more information.

Order a Free Print Copy (While Supplies Last)

Print copies of the graphic novel are available via CDC’s On Demand website under Pub ID 300568. Note: Print orders larger than one copy are prioritized for K-12 teachers and 4-H groups and supplies are limited.

CDC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-H to develop “The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak,” a graphic novel intended to educate youth audiences about variant flu and the real disease detective work conducted by public and animal health experts when outbreaks of infectious diseases occur.

This graphic novel follows a group of teenage 4-H members who participate in a state agricultural fair and later attend CDC’s Disease Detective Camp in Atlanta. When one of the boys becomes sick following the fair, the rest of the group use their newly-acquired disease detective knowledge to help a team of public and animal health experts solve the mystery of how their friend became ill.

Educational Activities for the Classroom

CDC has partnered with teachers participating in its Science Ambassador Fellowship to develop educational activities to accompany the graphic novel for use in middle and high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms. The activities highlight themes in the graphic novel to teach youth about public health science, epidemiology, biology, outbreak investigations and associated career skills. The graphic novel and its associated educational activities are part of a broader CDC initiative with USDA and other agricultural partners to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of a One Health approach to zoonotic disease prevention and response. The activities below are available for free download and use.

Additional Information

Learn about CDC disease detectives in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, and hear their stories.