Case-Control Study

Student Role

Susser Syndrome, a rare and debilitating neurological disease, is striking the people of Epiville!

logo_wepi1_small.gif BREAKING NEWS

"You are watching WEPI Channel 1 news. From our Health and Medicine Desk - doctors at the Epiville General Hospital are reporting a dramatic rise in the number of patients suffering from Susser Syndrome, a rare and debilitating neurological disease with symptoms ranging from dizziness, double-vision, fainting spells, and difficulty in concentration to more severe symptoms such as loss of smell, facial tics, and loss of conscious control of bodily movements. Susser Syndrome came to prominence during an apparent outbreak in London immediately following World War II, although the cause of the disease was never discovered. Until recently, only sporadic cases have been found in the United States. Hospital officials report a steady rise in new cases over the past two years with a rather dramatic upswing since March of this year.

"The Epiville Health Department has deployed a team of public health officials consisting of medical epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and research assistants to determine the magnitude of the outbreak of Susser Syndrome, as well as to identify possible causes and preventive measures.

"Doctors warn that all residents of Epiville may be at risk for developing the disease. However, Channel 1 has exclusively discovered that many of the infected individuals are members of the Superfit Fitness Center, located in the Epiville industrial park. Superfit is owned and operated by Glop Industries. When asked about this information, representatives from Glop declined comment."

Based on your own research and the newscast, you decide to gather more information about both the Superfit Fitness Center and Glop Industries. Visit the following sites to obtain more information on the situation:

You decide to visit the Superfit Fitness Center. Upon entering, you are immediately greeted by Mr. Abe Crunch who is very responsive to your questions.

Interview - Abe Crunch

"I've been the manager here at Superfit since we opened. As you probably know, Superfit is actually owned by SUPERCLEAN Industries. As you can see, we have nothing but state-of-the-art facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and all of our trainers are certified. Frankly, this place is awesome. We even have a gift shop! SUPERCLEAN Industries has a licensing agreement with Glop Industries and as a result we only carry products manufactured by Glop. In fact, we carry some things that you can't even get outside of here. For example, all of our members exclusively drink the sports drink Quench-It and eat the energy bar EnduroBrick - those two products cannot be found in retail stores. And rather than have them walking around with money while they're working the free weights, we issue each member a fitness credit card they use to keep track of their food and drink and other purchases. As for a number of members being sick, well, the only thing I can say is, we all get sick from time to time. I mean, who hasn't been sick?"

Your next goal is to meet with Hank Lockjaw, the production floor foreman at Glop Industries.

Interview - Hank Lockjaw

"My grand-daddy was a Glop man, my daddy was a Glop man, and I've been a Glop man my whole life. I was promoted to foreman a few years back, just before we started making SUPERCLEAN. Right behind you is the production line of Quench-it. Those plastic bottles shoot down the conveyer belt and then are filled up with the drink. The hard part is keeping the bottles nice and clean. Just last week we installed a brand new sterilization system. A couple of years ago we used to rinse the empty bottles with SUPERCLEAN to sterilize them before adding Quench-it. Before that we just used hot water. Now, we only use this gamma radiation trick to sterilize the bottles. It's supposed to be more efficient and cheaper in the long run than using the SUPERCLEAN. Like I said, we only switched last week so time will tell. Let's see - over in the other corner is the EnduroBrick line. The bars ride on the conveyer belt through that big oven which serves to not only bake them but to sterilize them as well. My job is to make sure everything runs nice and smooth and I'll tell you, there's been not a single breakdown on my watch."