Volunteers create Outbreak at Bluedot Festival!
Tue, 30 July 2019
A team of volunteers recently released a fictitious infectious disease at Bluedot Science and Music Festival at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. The aim of the activity was to demonstrate how easily infectious diseases can spread and to educate people about the role of vaccines in preventing diseases and their transmission, as well as how scientists work to research and create new vaccines. The team ‘released’ an outbreak from a different location within the festival site each day in the form of stickers. Members of the public received a primary infection sticker and a pack of stickers containing stickers for secondary and tertiary infection, and instructions to pass the pack on. The stickers contained instructions to visit the ‘Infection Control’ stand to receive a treatment. When participants visited the stand, they were asked to record their infection location and sticker colour on a large map, and we were able to map the spread of infection. Participants were then invited to work through some hands-on activities on how to develop a vaccine. The activity proved to be very popular with festival-goers and sparked interesting discussion, with many festival-goers feeding back that they had learnt something new. The activity was funded by the British Society for Immunology as well at the Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections.