Summer Shorts #2 – Corrupted Blood


In 2005, a mysterious plague called Corrupted Blood hit the online denizens of World of Warcraft, ripping through cities and decimating player characters. After the smoke cleared, it became clear that this virtual plague shared many characteristics with real-world diseases and almost immediately attracted the attention of researchers. In this Summer Short, I go over the details of the in-game Corrupted Blood incident, and the very real-world epidemiological research that followed. Learn about all this and more on the latest short of Bedside Rounds, a tiny podcast about fascinating stories in clinical medicine,


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  • Lofgren E, Fefferman N. The untapped potential of virtual game worlds to shed light on real world epidemics. Lancet Infect Dis 2007;9:625–9.