Welcome to the Headquarter of The Disease Detectives


„The Disease Detectives“ is a free educational comic about the methods needed to conduct an outbreak investigation. It was created as a teaching tool by epidemiologists Esther and Florian for children and other curious beings. It is available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, German, Chinese, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Persian and Hebrew versions.

Published outbreak investigations and case studies used in training exercises were screened and scripted into a comic about a fictitious food-borne outbreak of salmonella after a neighbourhood barbeque. The story follows three friends who eventually find out the true reason why none of their friends can come play football with them...

  • Illustrations were hand-drawn on A3 Bristolboard paper with pen and ink
  • Scans were edited with free open source software Inkscape and Gimp
  • Copyrights were put under a creative commons license
  • Separation of graphics and text allows easy translation

The comic was first introduced at ESCAIDE 2007 conference with this poster. The Disease Detectives comic was featured in the November 2008 issue of Eurosurveillance.


Two years after the smashing success of the comic we were proud to present the sequel: „The Disease Detective DIY Board Game“. Learn outbreak epidemiology through playing with your friends! 

The game was first introduced at ESCAIDE 2009 conference with this poster.

Card Game 

In 2013 we followed up with a scripted card game that teaches the core skills of outbreak investigation (epidemic curves, 2x2 tables, relative risks, etiologic fractions and stratification & confounding). Players draw one card that describes the food they ate and if ill, their symptoms with time of first onset. That information is collected subsequently during the teaching activity as the outbreak unfolds and more complicated topics are covered.

Esther Kissling is penciler, inker and colourist all rolled into one. Her unique drawing style is what gives „The Disease Detectives“, „The Disease Detectives Board Game“ and the card game their personality. She is working at EpiConcept. If she is not teaching Epidemiology, she is perfectioning her Shaolin-Kung Fu.

Florian Burckhardt had the idea, did script and lettering for the Comic. He works as an Epidemiologist at the State Health Authority of Rhineland Palatinate.

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
Dieses Werk ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International Lizenz