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Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006

Books and Media

Gastroenteritis at a University in Texas: An Epidemiologic Case Study

Suggested citation for this article

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers, Atlanta, GA, 2005
Format: CD-Rom. Price: $30 from the Public Health Foundation or download at no charge from

This CD-ROM is an important addition to case exercises in field epidemiology that serve to educate when actual participation in a field investigation is not possible or practical. The authors have prepared a case exercise based on an actual field investigation with real data that have been put together in a meaningful and effective way. The use of an epidemic of gastroenteritis is a cutting-edge element, since foodborne disease is a major public health problem today. The outbreak occurs on a college campus, which lends an air of verisimilitude, and the causative agent, norovirus, is a genuine public health threat.

This reviewer had a number of specific editorial recommendations for the authors that could enhance forthcoming versions. These suggestions included inserting a case definition in the investigation outline; adding the role of the state laboratory; consistently labeling outbreak, epidemic, and epidemic curve throughout the program; clarifying the rationale for limiting the outbreak to the university; further refining methods for the study and controls; using 2×2 tables to illustrate epidemiologic ratios; and expanding the employee training plan.

Overall, these types of training aids are needed as we attempt to further expose public health workers to field investigations so that they can conduct investigations effectively. The reference to additional educational material throughout the steps is a well-conceived and appropriate aspect of the investigation. The narrative information, questions, and explanations are appropriate and flow smoothly.

Philip S. Brachman*Comments to Author 

Author affiliation: *Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Brachman PS. Gastroenteritis at a university in Texas: an epidemiologic case study [media review]. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2006 Jul [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1207.060457

Table of Contents – Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006


Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Philip S. Brachman, Rollins School of Public Health, Grace Crum Rollins Building, 1518 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

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