Become a CDC Disease Detective in the Solve the Outbreak – iPad App Review

cdcSolve the Outbreak is actually an app that was developed and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It may be listed in the education category, but in reality, it’s more fun than some of the games out there in the App Store.

In Solve the Outbreak, players take on the role of a Disease Detective. The goal is to look for clues and analyze data in order to solve mystery disease cases and save lives. You will need to complete actions like quarantining sick villages, interrogating sick people, and developing lab results. If you’ve ever dreamed of working for the CDC, this is the app for you.

When the app opens, you can choose an outbreak to solve. There are three different choices: an illness that began at a birthday party, an illness in Kenya, and a virus spreading through a college. I decided to go with the birthday party and after I tapped the case, it opened with some background info about what went on at the party.

As it turns out, several of the kids at the party are sick, and one mother suspects a foodborne illness. Your job is to investigate just what’s going on, by answering questions.


You can ask the what the kids ate, tell the guests it was raw eggs, or call the family who hosted party, and each of these decisions will lead to other decisions, which eventually gives you a score. If you solve the case in the optimum way, you will get the maximum amount of points.

After each decision you make, you will see the consequences of the decision in the form of information, which helps you make future choices and leads you through the investigation. Every investigation is filled with clues, data, information about the case, and most importantly, definitions so you can get info on anything you don’t understand.


I think that most of us enjoy solving mysteries, which is why this app is fun to explore. It puts the user in the shoes of a CDC investigator, and at the same time, it teaches people about how the CDC works, how outbreaks work, and how diseases work. It’s a fantastic educational app that’s worth downloading no matter what age you are.

What I liked: Solving disease mysteries was surprisingly fun! I had a great time posing as an epidemiologist in Solve the Outbreak. For an educational app, it’s totally engrossing.

What I didn’t like: I had no complaints about this app, but I would like to see additional outbreak scenarios.

To buy or not to buy: Solve the Outbreak is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

  • App Name: Solve the Outbreak
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0
  • Category: Education
  • Developer: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Price: Free
  • Score:

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