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Unleashing the undead: Virus tracker program lets Jamboree Scouts turn others into 'zombies'

Participants at the Boy Scouts of America's National Jamboree are turning each other into virtual zombies as part of an educational game that Virginia Tech researchers designed to show how disease spreads.

The Virus Tracker program combines technology with the game of tag.

At the Jamboree, Scouts earn points by "infecting" other players through bar-coded labels.

Codes can be activated at scanning stations or by troop leaders whose smartphones have the Virus Tracker app. The goal is to stay human. Individuals and troops that amass the most points each day win.

Scout Colin Slavin from Germantown Hills, Ill., says the chance to turn other Scouts into zombies is "really cool."

Kristy Collins of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech says about 3,000 Scouts have participated.