Navigation Links
Online 'Epidemic' Gives Clues to Bird Flu Spread
Date:8/21/2007

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... CastCoverz!, America’s #1 trusted brand ... country's oldest waterproof cast protector . As the largest one-stop, orthopedic shop, ... of daily, night, weatherproof and waterproof covers for most orthopedic devices, including but ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... ... University of New England President Danielle N. Ripich is pleased to announce ... In addition to his role as director of Athletics, McDonald will oversee a ... space of just one year Jack has distinguished himself by his commitment to our ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... the organization’s most successful events, attracting medical professionals from around the globe who ... networking events. , Opening Ceremonies Sunday, April 17 included the introduction of the ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Trinity Health, one of ... leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll, ... help reduce tobacco use. The initiative brings together two organizations committed to achieving ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... In many parts of the world, contamination ... mortality. This is particularly true in underdeveloped parts of Africa where clean sources of ... England’s campus in Tangier, Morocco, will examine this global health issue and consider how ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... New York , April 27, 2016 ... market report titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global Industry ... 2023." According to the report, the global skincare devices ... and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ... Mn in 2023. Browse the full Skincare Devices ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Research and Markets has ... Disposables Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  ... global anesthesia disposables market is set to ... the period 2016-2020.  Healthcare-acquired infections ... safety. Organizations like the CDC and Public ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) is ... , Pharm D., to Vice President of Education and ... Hagerman will continue to lead and oversee Diplomat University, ... education and training to Diplomat employees and external professionals ... University also houses the quality assurance department, which focuses ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: