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Playing the role of a pathogen in the game of Plague, Inc. and Infection Bio War has provided me with unique insights into the strategies that can be employed to spread a disease quickly and effectively. I found that my most successful strategies involved focusing on increasing both the infectivity and severity of my virus while also maintaining its lethality at a low level so as to maximize its spread before it was noticed by healthcare professionals who could then begin working on treatments or preventative measures. The events in these games do mimic a real-world epidemic; when playing on normal difficulty, players must take into account geographical factors such as air travel, climate suitability for transmission, population density, government responses, etc., all of which are important components of how diseases spread in reality.

Two examples of diseases that have been incredibly successful at spreading beyond their country’s borders are HIV/AIDS and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). HIV/AIDS became an international crisis due to its high infection rate coupled with its long incubation period which allowed carriers to travel long distances without knowing they were infected until symptoms began showing up much later. In response to this global mobility issue many countries implemented laws restricting entry based on testing for HIV status which has helped mitigate some cases but not completely stopped it from crossing borders illegally. EVD is another example where it was able to quickly spread throughout West Africa due to poor infrastructure in rural areas allowing transmission between villages but very limited access too healthcare resources leading to large number deaths when outbreaks occurred. International aid organizations stepped in by providing funds for mobile health clinics as well as providing protective equipment for those working directly with patients helping contain the outbreak in most areas within two years after it first emerged.

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