An investigation of pyrexia of unknown origin in Shamva District, Zimbabwe, September 2015
Daniel Chirundu, Tsitsi Juru, Nsiande Lema, Rayyan Muhammad Garba, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2018;30 (Supp 1):10. doi:10.11604/pamj.supp.2018.30.1.15270

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Case study

An investigation of pyrexia of unknown origin in Shamva District, Zimbabwe, September 2015

Cite this: The Pan African Medical Journal. 2018;30 (Supp 1):10. doi:10.11604/pamj.supp.2018.30.1.15270

Received: 21/02/2018 - Accepted: 05/04/2018 - Published: 18/05/2018

Key words: Outbreak investigation, pyrexia, Zimbabwe

© Daniel Chirundu et al. The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Corresponding author: Daniel Chirundu, Kadoma City Health Department, Kadoma, Zimbabwe (

This article is published as part of the supplement “African Case Studies for Public Health Volume 2” sponsored by African Field Epidemiology Network, (Case Study Design and Development, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Guest editors: Scott JN McNabb, Ghada N Farhat, Casey Daniel Hall, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong, Richard Dicker

An investigation of pyrexia of unknown origin in Shamva District, Zimbabwe, September 2015

Daniel Chirundu1,2,&, Tsitsi Juru2, Nsiande Lema3, Rayyan Muhammad Garba4, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong5


1Kadoma City Health Department, Kadoma, Zimbabwe, 2Zimbabwe Field Epidemiology Training Program, Harare, Zimbabwe, 3Tanzania Field Epidemiology Training program, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 4Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training program, Abuja, Nigeria, 5African Field Epidemiology Network, Accra, Ghana



&Corresponding author
Daniel Chirundu, Kadoma City Health Department, Kadoma, Zimbabwe




Outbreak investigation is a key component of public health training. A good outbreak investigation can go beyond determining the causative agent by recommending policies to be formulated by policy makers. This case study simulates a real-life investigation of pyrexia of unknown origin in Shamva District, Zimbabwe, during the period of September to October 2015. It aims at reinforcing principles and skills taught in class on outbreak investigation, study design and policy initiation. The target audience for the case study is Field Epidemiologists at their advanced level of training. It is expected to be completed in approximately 2 hours.



How to use this case study    Down

General instructions: ideally, 1 to 2 facilitator(s) is/are required to facilitate the case study for 10 to 20 participants. The facilitator should request participants to read a paragraph out loud, going around the room to give each participant a chance to read. When the participant reads a question, the facilitator encourages all participants to engage in discussions, perform calculations, and draw graphs among other tasks. The facilitators request the participants to play different roles or take different sides in answering a question. As a result, participants learn from each other, not just from the facilitators.


Audience: Field Epidemiologist and other person(s) interested in the case study.


Pre-requisite: before using this case study, case study participants should have received lectures or other instruction in outbreak investigation, use of Epi info 7 visual dashboard to run aberration algorithm, study design, measures of association, and policy formulation and analysis.


Materials needed: flipchart or whiteboard with markers.


Level of training: advanced outbreak investigation.


Time required: approximately 2 hours


Language: English



Case study material Up    Down



Competing interests Up    Down

The authors declare no competing interests.



Acknowledgments Up    Down

The African Field Epidemiology Network and Emory University are acknowledged for organising a case study development workshop through which this output was achieved. We acknowledge the Zimbabwe Field Epidemiology Program for allowing us to use their data for this case study. We acknowledge the following for peer review during the case study development: Tuya Nakale, Emmanuel Hikufe, Wilson Rubanzana, Mark Obonyo, Lazarus, Alice Manjate, Senesia Sitao, Hussein Muhammed, Joseph Ntaganira, Junaidu, Yusuf, Mikayla Farr, Desta Hiko, Herbert Brian Kazoora, Maley Mcleod, Yusuf Oyindamola, Junaid Kabir, Casey Daniel, Sorie Dumbuya, Evelyn Kamgang, Calbeth Alaribe, Ghada Farhat and Richard Dicker.



References Up    Down

  1. Central Statistics office. Mashonaland Central Census Report. Govt Printers. 2012. Google Scholar

  2. World Health Organisation. Guideline for Drinking Water Quality. WHO. 1997; 2nd Edition. Google Scholar

  3. Samuel J Cobbina, Abudu B Duwiejuah, Reginald Quansah, Samuel Obiri, Noel Bakobie. Comparative assessment of heavy metals in drinking water sources in two small-scale mining communities in Northern Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Sep; 12(9): 10620-10634. PubMed | Google Scholar

  4. Tapesana S Chirundu D, Gombe TN, Shambira G, Juru TP, Tshimanga M. An acute gastroenteritis outbreak investigation at two informal gold mine settlements, Kadoma Zimbabwe. 2016. In press submitted to BMC Public Health Journal.






























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