The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak Graphic Novel

Junior Disease Detectives - Operation Outbreak
Credit: CDC, USDA, 4H

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

Here is a small sample of the illustrations in the novel:

CDC hopes that this story raises youth awareness of infectious diseases and the public health risks they pose. In addition, CDC hopes that this story helps to encourage youth interest in the many different career paths available in public health at the local, state and federal levels.

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, and additional classroom activities will be developed and posted to this site throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Please visit the CDC’s website for more information and to view the entire novel.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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