Flu fighters battle pandemic online

Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:42am EDT
 
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The world is gripped by a flu pandemic and it's up to you to stop it -- that is, if you choose to play a new game developed by a Dutch medical center and available online for free.

The Great Flu (www.thegreatflu.com) allows players to choose their viral adversary, pick the part of the world it spreads in and then control how to manage the outbreak given a limited amount of funds and medications.

The game was developed by the Erasmus University Medical Center, in Rotterdam, and launched in April, the same month the H1N1 swine flu virus emerged.

The World Health Organization declared H1N1 a full pandemic in June and it has now spread to some 180 countries, causing at least 1,462 laboratory-confirmed deaths.

Earlier this year, another, humorous online game based on the virus, called Swinefighter (www.swinefighter.com), also allowed players to beat the spread of H1N1.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Alex Richardson)