Applying Epidemiology and Formulating Hypothesis


This follows the constitution restricting medical practitioners from revealing client's information. It is against the ethical expectation of health workers. The number of cases should be determined based on the individuals who have shown the aforementioned symptoms. The laboratory results are also analyzed in order to come up with the proper conclusion on the main cause of the problem (Community and Public Health Online). The time duration is also considered. In this case study, time duration when the students were started seeing the symptoms has been recorded. Besides, further analyses of the situations have been done to come up with the necessary methods of dealing with the issue. The location should also be analyzed appropriately (Committee on Communicable Diseases Affecting Man, Food Subcommittee, 1988). The other consideration at this level is time. The outbreak should occur over a given reasonable period. The other step would involve a survey using data collection methods such as questionnaires. The next steps involve the development and comparison of hypotheses to come up with a conclusion on the cause of the outbreak described in the case study.

The questions that the students need to be asked include the time that they started feeling nauseatic, the urge to vomit and diarrhea as well as if any of them had shown the same symptoms previously. The complaint should be investigated further since the students may be suffering from a serious illness.

Yes, the cases represent outbreak at the university. Ideally, the number of patients involved is large, and the period is not large. Besides, it has happened within a single locality, which is south central Texas. The information that should be provided is the presence of some disease-causing agents. It would be used in knowing the possible diseases ailing the students.

The bacterial culture determines the type of disease after some tests have been carried out. In this case, there were no bacteria present in the stool. In essence, the students might not be suffering from the common water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. The results would qualify whether other diseases apart from the typhoid and cholera are present. Besides, it will also raise the question on whether the patients are suffering from terminal diseases associated with the symptoms.

The main topic that would be discussed in the meeting would be an analysis of the foods that were served during the three days of March 10, 11th, and 12th, the time when most people showed the symptoms. This would help in making appropriate guess or hypothesis on the possible cause of the disease.

Leading hypothesis: the students became ill after eating a common meal

The first action after formulating the hypothesis would involve questioning the management of the university cafeteria on whether there were appropriate quality measures on the foods consumed by the students on the mentioned dates. I would look for the origin of the pathogens in the food suppliers. In addition, analysis of the water consumed by the students will also be done.

The advantage of the case-control study is that it enables the investigator or researchers come up with the ideas regarding the possible cause of the disease. It allows researchers do comparison and ask questions about the meals that the two groups of students / specimens took on the mentioned dates. This case requires immediate attention of the healthcare since lack of it may lead to further contamination and increase in risks.


Committee on Communicable Diseases Affecting Man, Food Subcommittee (1988). Procedures

to Investigate Foodborne Illness. Fourth Edition, Des Moines, Iowa: International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians, Inc.

Community and Public…