outbreak / infectious disease / transmission games for children aged 9-11 yrs


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outbreak / infectious disease / transmission games for children aged 9-11 yrs

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Dear epi-friends,

I need your help. I am looking for some input: I am developing a 1-2 day curriculum for primary school aged children of 9-11 years on infectious disease transmission. The module is focussed on (preventing) malaria transmission, but we take it a bit broader to infectious disease transmission and control in general.

I have incorporated the "sneeze game", and will do a small class room game with starch/water/iodine to mimic transmission and prevention. But I am looking for some more online tools suitable for children 9-11yrs. Ideally the tool or game includes some options / decisions that influence the outcome of the game, and that can be discussed in the class room in the feedback session (e.g. what intervention has the largest effect on new case numbers).

Any ideas welcome, and highly appreciated! See you all @ ESCAIDE!

best wishes,

Alma Tostmann, cohort 2009.

(Radboud university medical centre/ The Netherlands)

All Replies
  • Thank you

    Very interesting!

    Maybe you could include the prevention of the transmission of fecal-oral pathogens using simple methods such as hand washing:globalhandwashing.org/about-handwashing

    Food borne diseases which are common in the developed world. If you focus on malaria (or tropical diseases only), the kids will see the tropical countries as the source of infection and complete forget about their own risk of exposure. Having said, if you are giving the course in Netherlands, infectious diseases such as measles might be a good example but need to be very careful when it comes to vaccination and vaccine refusal groups.

    I hope that this helps


  • Have you seen the CDC "Solve the Outbreak" game? www.cdc.gov/.../web-app.html or Rice University's "Med Myst" game at http://webadventures.rice.edu/


    Lisa Hansen

  • Hi Alma

    Take a look at the post on playful educational tools for infectious diseases

    There is also a Teachers' Tool for teaching K12 students on communicable diseases. It is called "Go Fish", and is a prepared deck of 52 cards, all with info on infectious diseases. It's fun, and costs $9.99. I have a license to play it so please log in to the Transmissible website and you can take a look at the instructions at the Notice Board Forum Wiki. That Forum Wiki also contains the full card file of 'Outbreak Investigation Card Game', developed by WHO. The cards are formatted for an African foodborne outbreak, but you can change the cards yourself, since the files include the card templates.

    Indeed the Sneeze game is nice. Did you take it from this website: https://www.miniclip.com/games/sneeze/en/? It is great fun to let kids (and adults by the way) play this before a lesson, and then dig into questions and answers.

    Hope this helps. Gimme a call if you need some more tools that cannot be shared here.

  • Hi Alma,

    The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) have also done some introduction to infectious disease epidemiology activities for school children at "open door" events - I haven't personally been involved but maybe ask some of the RKI fellows from your cohort - they might know more.

    Have a great time at ESCAIDE - I won't be there this year unfortunately, I am attending a meeting at ECDC the week after, so I will get a small dose of Stockholm winter time. But sad to miss the 10 year ESCAIDE anniversary of course. I remember attending the first ESCAIDE in 2007 - that's where I decided to apply for EPIET! :)

    Warm greetings from Madrid,


    Stine Nielsen

    Phd student, EPIET alumni and freelance epidemiologist

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/stinenielsenepi

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/StineNielsenEPI

  • hi Alma

    http://www.edugames4all.org/ is a portal for educational games on hygiene, AMR, and basics of infection control for 9-11y old (platform games) and for 14-16y old (detective games). Although not directly on malaria you might find them very useful. We also have translations to 10 EU languages.

    If you're interested in our papers on Edugames4All (previously called eBug) please visit reseachgate (full texts available):


    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Good luck!


  • Good luck,


  • Dear Alma,

    we have a successful program in the Czech Republic, called "Game against AIDS". Maybe its elements have been useful for you. We can discuss it on ESCAIDE.

    Good luck,


  • Dear Alma,

    <disclaimer: together with Esther Kissling, I am author of the following teaching ressources>

    www.disease-detectives.org has a comic in several languages on a classic foodborne outbreak. Younger kids might enjoy colouring the b/w version which is also on the site.

    For a more immersive experience we created a card-scripted outbreak investigation on


    which links to these free source files: www.epi-teacher.org/.../TDD-cardgame.zip

    Check out the Powerpoint file in the ZIP, you can print it out 4 slides on one page on thick paper and have a cardgame. I can bring a version to ESCAIDE, mail me.

    English instructions are here: www.epi-teacher.org/.../instructions.pdf

    The German version is much better, though: www.epi-teacher.org/.../TDD-kartenspiel-anleitung.pdf

    All you need is logical thinking and basic calculus (for RR). 100% analog, no PPT projector required.

    The above cards are the ones mentioned by Stine and used by RKI.

    Good Luck

    PS: it would be great if you could make a summary/digest of our inputs

  • Dear all,

    Thank you very much for your helpful feedback.

    I am digesting and testing it all but there are lots of useful tips here.

    I will make a summary and will think about a smart way to distrubute this unique overview

    Thanks again, and hope to see you in Stockholm


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