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Outbreak at Watersedge: A Public Health Discovery Game

The proposed game simulates the process of searching for credible evidence to detect the source of the infection. For this reason, it includes all stages that are critical and demanding in real-life conditions. First, consultation with an epidemiologist to realize the current situation and the problem is required. Second, because of the large number of sick patients, their answers describing their activities can be used to find the place where the investigation should start as the majority of patients visited it. The given scheme guarantees that the research will be effective, and only demanded areas will be affected.

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Second, similar to the real settings, the collection of samples is an important activity in the application. Analyzing the location and possessing the knowledge about the potential sources of the disease, it is critical to select objects that should be examined in the laboratory to determine if there are any bacteria or infected organisms. It can take some period of time, and the success of this activity can be guaranteed by additional interviews with patients to outline their businesses in the area, the food they consumed, water, and other important aspects. Furthermore, the collection of samples, along with the consideration of risk factors, helps to conclude that water from the malfunctioning fountain is the main source of Cryptosporidium that causes diarrhea in patients.

Speaking about the epidemiological process and the illness, the game correctly shows all steps that are needed to find the source and determine how it evolved. Rains and poor filters create an environment beneficial for the development of Cryptosporidium. It can be found in the water and consuming it; people face the risk of acquiring cryptosporidiosis (“Cryptosporidium infection,” n.d.). The disease is characterized by watery diarrhea, pain in the stomach, nausea, fever (symptoms peculiar to all patients mentioned in the game).

Additionally, the epidemiology of the disease presupposes that drinking recreational or poor quality water preconditions the high risk of becoming sick. Usually, the condition demands from 2 to 10 days to evolve, and symptoms last 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the immune system of a person (“Cryptosporidium. General information,” n.d.). In some cases, an individual might have no unpleasant feelings but remain infected.

The disease remains a rather popular cause of diarrhea among various age groups because of the existence of beneficial conditions for its evolution. The pathogen can be found in parks, ponds, lakes, or fountains, as is shown in the application. That is why people who visit such places and drink contaminated water face a high risk of being infected. In the majority of cases, the disease does not presuppose any treatment as people with healthy immune systems can recover by themselves (“Cryptosporidium. General information,” n.d.). The recommendations include drinking much fluid as patients lose it with diarrhea, avoid alcohol or beverages with caffeine, and maintain a special diet (“Cryptosporidium. General information,” n.d.). To stop watery stool, usual medicines against diarrhea can be used.

Altogether, the proposed game correctly shows the process of the determination of the source of the disease and effectively teaches about the epidemiological peculiarities of Cryptosporidium. The pathogen remains one of the most common causes for the development of watery diarrhea, as it can be found in various parks where many people spend their free time. Heavy rains, poor working filters, and the presence of infected animals can be taken as factors promoting the spread of the disease.


Cryptosporidium infection. (n.d.). Web.

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Cryptosporidium. General information. (n.d.). Web.

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