(HealthDay)—The "Solve the Outbreak" iPad application allows gamers to play the role of a disease outbreak investigator and determine the cause of outbreaks, based on real-life events, according to a press release published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The application, which currently includes three fictional outbreaks, is based on real cases encountered by the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service. To determine the cause of the outbreak, users receive clues, review data, and have to make decisions. The application can be used as a learning tool for students, teachers, scientists, and gamers.
The game introduces participants to health tips as well as definitions and information about epidemiology. Users can earn points to advance in rank and can post their results on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to challenge other participants.
"The goal is to use new technology to provide an engaging, interactive way for users to learn how CDC solves outbreaks, thereby increasing general knowledge about real-life public health issues," CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., said in a statement. "This application allows us to illustrate the challenges of solving outbreaks and how our disease detectives work on the front lines to save lives and protect people 24/7."