“The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak” is a graphically illustrated story that follows a group of high-school aged children in 4-H who participate in a state agricultural fair and who later attend CDC’s Disease Detective Camp in Atlanta. At the camp, the children learn about zoonotic diseases and basic concepts of epidemiology, and they are introduced to the disease detective work conducted by CDC and its Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers. When one of the children becomes ill following the fair, the rest of the children must utilize their newly-acquired disease detective knowledge to help a team of CDC EIS officers and state public health and animal health experts solve the mystery of how their friend became ill.
This graphic novel is a collaborative project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – including both USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and 4-H National Headquarters housed at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This graphic novel is a part of a broader CDC initiative with USDA and other agricultural partners to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of the “One Health” approach to zoonotic disease prevention and response. The One Health approach recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment, and that both animal health and public health are best served by working together. “The Junior Disease Detectives” represent a new educational platform to promote youth interest in public and animal health and to inspire the next generation of real life disease detectives.