Waterborne Disease Outbreak Investigation Response

Left side is a person with a magnifying glass inspecting liquid in cylinder

A waterborne disease outbreak investigation will go through several steps—or response activities—with the goal of identifying the outbreak source and stopping additional illness. The steps will be described in order, but in reality, investigations are dynamic and multiple steps may happen at the same time. Investigations can also be cyclic, requiring certain steps to be repeated if cases continue after control measures have been implemented. It is important to remember that no two waterborne disease outbreaks are the same. The following steps were developed as a guideline to follow during an investigation, but all steps may not necessarily apply to all outbreak investigations or occur in chronological order.