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'Plague' game downloads soar in China amid coronavirus outbreak

Sky News logo Sky News 23/01/2020

A game in which players create a disease which attempts to wipe out the entire world's population has soared to the top of the App Store in China amid an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

a close up of a map: The game 'Plague' has leapt to the top of the App Store in China. Pic: Ndemic © Press Release The game 'Plague' has leapt to the top of the App Store in China. Pic: Ndemic

Plague Inc was designed and launched by British games studio Ndemic Creations and is currently the most popular paid-for app on iPhones, according to market analysts App Annie.

The award-winning strategy game allows players to customise their diseases by evolving them, and its creator James Vaughan was invited to speak at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention following its initial success, on grounds the game could be used to educate people about viruses.

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Two cities in China are now in lockdown as the World Health Organisation considers whether to declare the deadly coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.

So far at least 17 people have been killed. All but two of the 13 men and four women were aged over 60. Ten of the victims had a pre-existing condition.

Overall, 591 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed by Chinese authorities.

There is no vaccine for the new viral infection, which can cause pneumonia and can be passed from person to person.

Photos: Coronavirus outbreak 

 

The symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

Though the origin of the virus has yet to be identified, the WHO has said the primary source is probably an animal.

The virus is believed to have originated in the seafood market in the city of Wuhan.

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