Navigation Links
Online 'Epidemic' Gives Clues to Bird Flu Spread

A computer bug infected Web gamers, with ominous results, experts say

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Online role-playing games could provide insight into how infectious diseases such as bird flu spread among people in the real world, American researchers report.

A programming error caused an epidemic of a highly contagious disease ("corrupted blood") among virtual characters in the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft, scientists from Rutgers University in New Jersey and Tufts University in Boston wrote in the September issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The company that developed the game tried a number of quarantine strategies, but they all failed due to a number of factors -- the highly contagious nature of the disease; the inability to seal off a section of the game world effectively; and player resistance to quarantine measures.

Resetting the game proved to be only way to halt the epidemic.

Computer programs specifically designed to model infectious disease outbreaks are an important research tool but lack the unpredictable economic and social behavior exhibited by players of virtual online games, scientists Eric Lofgren and Nina Fefferman noted.

"We believe that, if the epidemic is designed and presented so as to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the persistent game world, in such a way as to be part of the user's expected experience in the game, a reasonable analogue to real-world human reactions to disease might be observed and captured within a computer model," they wrote. "By using these games as an untapped experimental framework, we may be able to gain deeper insight into the incredible complexity of infectious disease epidemiology in social groups."

More information

The World Health Organization has more about infectious diseases.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Aug. 20, 2007

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Online information system for patients
2. GPs online referral scheme in UK a national IT disaster
3. Youngsters, now have a good reason to interact online
4. Teens need to Exercise Caution While Using Online Blogs
5. Online recruitment criticised by doctors
6. Study Finds Online Support Groups Emotionally Benefit Women Suffering From
7. NHS Downsizes Medication Goes Online
8. Online Sale of Abortion Pills
9. Premature Babies In ICU Can Be Viewed Online: Parents Rejoice
10. Anonymity Helps In Overcoming Inhibitions During Online Counseling
11. Online Auction Results In Purchase of Chemicals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing colorful ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings the ... can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Lafayette, California (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a pioneer in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership ... and health system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... leader in retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United ... life, eyeglasses have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Battle Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... abuse, joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table ... held in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. ... for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , ... Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced ... launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first ... of possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, ... their offering. Surgical ... business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a ... an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: