Downloads For Plague Inc Soar In China After Coronavirus Outbreak
Dozens of people have died and hundreds more have been infected with a new strain of a virus that stemmed from China.
Wuhan, in the country's Hubei province, has been declared ground zero and people in the area have been banned from leaving so that authorities can stop the coronavirus from getting out of quarantine.
Naturally, people are wondering how bad this disease is and how quickly it can mutate and spread further. But it seems like people in China are turning to an unlikely source of information about virus mutation: a smartphone game.
Downloads for Plague Inc have soared in China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to market analysts App Annie. The site says the game has climbed to the top of the country's app store.
Essentially, the game allows you to act as a bioterrorist, where you unleash a pathogen on the planet and your aim is to infect and eventually kill everyone, everywhere.
It may sound pretty morbid, but the game has been heralded for educating people about how pathogens spread.
The app's developer James Vaughan was invited in 2013 to give a talk at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how accurate the game is.
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The CDC praised Plague Inc for teaching 'the public about outbreaks and disease transmission because of how it uses a non-traditional route to raise public awareness on epidemiology, disease transmission, and diseases/pandemic information'.
It's believed animals could be the suspected primary source of this coronavirus outbreak, with a seafood market selling live animals in Wuhan being identified as ground zero for the virus.
The World Health Organisation reported that The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan city was closed on 1 January 2020 for environmental sanitation and disinfection.
Authorities have started putting potential patients into plastic tubes to stop others from being infected during treatment.
Footage taken shows two workers in Hazmat suits pulling a person out of the back of an ambulance, before taking them towards a hospital.
The country's officials have said that 15 medical workers have been infected with a new strain of the infection while caring for sick patients.
Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission in China, said that the illness has 'the possibility of viral mutation and further spread of the disease'.
Featured Image Credit: Plague Inc