OIE Challenges Animal Health Industry To Remember Rinderpest

Rinderpest Challenge
( World Organisation for Animal Health )

What would happen if the rinderpest virus, the only animal disease eradicated in the world, returns from the past to threaten animal health security? The Rinderpest Game launched this week on www.rinderpestvigilance.com to bring awareness of the critical role the animal health industry plays in preventing its return.

“In order to help safeguard our world so that it remains free of rinderpest, by ensuring that the memory of this disease stays alive and particularly that key players in animal health are fully aware of the role that they still have to play in the post eradication era, the OIE has created the Rinderpest ‘Never Turn Back’ communication campaign,” said the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in a press release.

As part of this campaign, the OIE developed a serious game that aims to help the world remain free from rinderpest, by ensuring that veterinary students, veterinary practitioners and laboratory technicians know how to detect and react to this disease. 

Players are invited to find the source of the rinderpest outbreak and save the world in this game before Nov. 1. Players will virtually travel the world to stop the propagation of rinderpest. They will be in both the shoes of a veterinarian and a laboratory technician to detect the virus among other similar diseases or not-so-similar pathologies called distractors on a worldwide scope and help other laboratory technicians while trying to unravel the truth concerning the virus outbreak.

Rinderpest was officially declared eradicated from the planet in 2011, the first and only animal disease to have been completely eradicated, and only the second disease in history, after smallpox. However, there is still a risk of reoccurrence. This disease caused the deaths of millions of animals all over the world, with terrible consequences on food security and livelihoods, particularly in developing countries, where the disease was responsible for famines and devastating economic losses. 

Veterinary students, laboratory practitioners and all players in animal health are invited to participate in the OIE Rinderpest Challenge. The game can be played on any computer through www.rinderpestvigilance.com and/or by downloading the dedicated mobile application on a smartphone or tablet.