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CDC Launches Free App ‘Solve the Outbreak’

Update Date: Feb 20, 2013 08:47 AM EST

The recent meningitis outbreak linked to compounding pharmacy has shown how important it is to be able to locate the center of the outbreak and how people must be equipped to deal with such emergencies. Now, you may not be a disease detective, but you can play a game of disease investigation at home.

As part of its efforts to connect with people on social networks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a free app that lets you solve a disease outbreak.

"You'll play the role of an Epidemic Intelligence Service agent. Find clues about outbreaks and make tough decisions about what to do next: Do you quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results?," CDC said.

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Users will be first included in the 'training staff", after which they'll have to earn points based on their ability in analyzing the data. Each answer will earn points and save lives of people affected by the "outbreak".

Players will earn badges and cracking the outbreak case will make them a Disease Detective.

CDC said that the app was designed in-house and hasn't given any development costs, The Huffington Post reported.

This isn't the first time that a federal agency has come up with a free application. Other examples of apps created to provide information to the public include "Ask Karen" launched by the Agriculture Department, and National Institutes of Health's Wireless Information For Emergency Responders, or WISER.

The Solve the Outbreak app from CDC can be found at iTunes.

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