Outbreak Detectives

It Runs in the Community: Investigating a Waterborne Outbreak of Diarrheal Illness

Grades 5-7

This curriculum was developed to increase students’ knowledge of germs that can be found in recreational water, communicable disease prevention, basic steps to an outbreak investigation, the field of epidemiology, and how it is used to protect the public’s health. Content was designed for students in grades 5-7 but may be used and distributed by the public.

outbreak detectivesThis curriculum includes an instructor’s guide, as well as a corresponding PowerPoint presentation for display in the classroom. Please download and review both files before using:

The curriculum material can be presented as six separate lessons and class times or in its entirety if time allows. Lesson plans are user-friendly with activities listed in order and with instructor dialogue to be used with each PowerPoint slide.

  • Lesson One: Epidemiology and Outbreaks
  • Lesson Two: Outbreak Activity: The Dale City Dilemma
  • Lesson Three: RWI Germs
  • Lesson Four: Disinfection Times and Filtration System
  • Lesson Five: RWI Prevention
  • Lesson Six: Activity: Jeopardy Game

By the end of the completion of the curriculum, students will be able to:

  • Define the term epidemiology
  • List the nine basic steps to an outbreak investigation
  • Conduct the nine basic steps to an outbreak investigation
  • Construct a graph showing the time pattern for a disease outbreak, called an epi curve
  • List and describe the transmission, disinfection times, and prevention of the following germs that can be found in recreational water and cause illness:
    • Cryptosporidium
    • Giardia
    • E. coli
    • Shigella
  • Explain the filtration/re-circulation system in a pool or other re-circulated recreational water source
  • Name three ways to reduce the risk of contracting a Recreational Water Illness
Page last reviewed: May 4, 2016