Section Name Description
Module 1: Lesson 1: Introduction URL Basic Epidemiological Definitions

This book on Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice from the CDC will provide you with basic epidemiological definitions to understand the principles of Outbreak Investigation.

Read Section 1 pages 2-3, and Section 1 pages 72-73

URL Cluster Investigations of Non-Infectious Health Events

This article provides an overview of the definition of Cluster and how to perform Cluster investigation.

Read pages 1, 2 and 3 until section Step 1: Initial ascertainment of cluster

URL International Health Regulations (IHR)

Read the IHR coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to keep the world informed about public health risks and events.

URL Deciding whether to investigate a possible outbreak

Read the section on Deciding whether to investigate a possible outbreak

URL Natural History and Spectrum of Disease

This book on Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice from the CDC will help you understand the natural history of disease.

Read Section 1 pages 52-68

Page Steps in an outbreak investigation

This brief resource outlines the steps to follow during an outbreak investigation according to the CDC.

URL Pandemics: Risks, Impacts, and Mitigation

This book on Disease Control Priorities: Improving Health and Reducing Poverty will help you understand the main reasons to investigate an outbreak.

Read pages 315-325

URL WHO Disease Outbreak News and Weekly Epidemiological Report

Reports of current verified outbreaks are included in the weekly WHO Disease Outbreak News. The Weekly Epidemiological report (WER) provides epidemiological information on cases and outbreaks of disease of public health importance.

URL ProMed

The global reporting system for outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases & toxins, open to all sources. ProMed- mail the Program Monitoring Emerging Diseases, is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.


URL U.S. FoodNet Population Survey data

Useful resource from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for identifying food consumption patterns.


URL Public Health Agency of Canada Surveillance

Canadian government surveillance sistem of infectious and non infectious diseases.

URL FluWatch

FluWatch is Canada's national surveillance system that monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses. FluWatch reports with information on flu activity in Canada are posted every Friday.

URL Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) Weekly

The Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) Weekly provides reports of national and international communicable disease issues and incidents.

URL West Nile Surveillance Information

Learn about the different types of surveillance for West Nile virus and the reported number of cases in humans.

Module 2: Lesson 1: Prepare for Field Work - Step 1 URL The outbreak management team

The Field Epidemiology Manual Wiki from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Read the entire section on The outbreak management team.


Page Step 1 - Prepare for field work

This brief resource explains the scientific and operational preparations that must be carried out to start an Outbreak Investigation.

URL Regulations and Laws That May Apply During a Pandemic

Read the entire resource to understand how regulations an laws relate to outbreak responses.

Module 2: Lesson 2: Establish the Existence of an Outbreak - Step 2 Page Step 2 - Establish the existence of an Outbreak

This brief resource explains how outbreaks are recognized, and the role of surveillance in outbreak detection.

URL Outbreaks in Health Care Settings

This article refers to when clusters require investigation and how are pseudo-outbreaks recognized.

Read the sections Approach to an Outbreak and Pseudo-outbreaks


Module 2: Lesson 3: Verify the Diagnosis - Step 3 Page Step 3 - Verify the Diagnosis

This brief resource explains how to use clinical and laboratory features to confirm the diagnosis.

Module 2: Lesson 4: Construct a Working Case Definition - Step 4 Page Step 4 - Construct a working case definition

This brief resource explains the criteria to create an adequate case definition that includes clinical criteria, time, person and place.


Module 3: Lesson 1: Find Cases Systematically and Record Information - Step 5 Page Step 5 - Find cases systematically and record information

This brief resource explains how to create a line list to identify and track cases.


Module 3: Lesson 2: Perform Descriptive Epidemiology - Step 6 URL Step 6 - Perform descriptive epidemiology

Read the entire section on Step 6: Perform descriptive epidemiology from the US Center for disease control and prevention.

Module 3: Lesson 3: Develop Hypotheses - Step 7 Page Step 7 - Develop hypotheses
This brief resource explains how to develop a hypothesis.
Module 3: Lesson 4: Evaluate Hypotheses Epidemiologically - Step 8 URL Step 8 - Evaluate hypotheses epidemiologically

 Read the entire section on Step 8: Evaluate hypotheses epidemiologically from the US Center for disease control and prevention.


Module 3: Lesson 5: As Necessary, Reconsider, Refine, and Re-evaluate Hypotheses - Step 9 URL Step 9: Reconsider, refine, and re-evaluate hypotheses

Read the entire section on Step 9: Reconsider, refine, and re-evaluate hypotheses from the US Center for disease control and prevention.

Module 4: Lesson 1: Compare and Reconcile with Laboratory and Environmental Studies - Step 10 URL Step 10: Compare and reconcile with laboratory and environmental studies

Read the entire section on Step 10: Compare and reconcile with laboratory and environmental studies from the US Center for disease control and prevention.

Module 4: Lesson 2: Implement Control and Prevention Measures - Step 11 URL Step 11 - Implement control and prevention measures

This Guidelines for the Investigation and Control of Disease Outbreaks from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research will teach you how to approach control measures during an outbreak

Read Section: Outbreak control measures from pages 86-88


Module 4: Lesson 3: Initiate or Maintain Surveillance - Step 12 URL Step 12: Initiate or Maintain Surveillance

This Guidelines for the Investigation and Control of Disease Outbreaks from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research will provide you a brief summary on how surveillance systems are used during outbreaks

Read Section: Surveillance to detect outbreaks from pages 19-22

Page Data collection

To perform active surveillance, you will need to be familiar with data collection techniques, this resource will provide you with templates and an example on data collection.


Module 4: Lesson 4: Communicate Findings - Step 13 Page 13. Communicate findings

This short resource will provide you with information regarding the contents of a final report.