Zombies reveal health warnings

Alex Blissett looks at the zombie exhibition at an educational talk. Albury High School student Sally Lynch examines a pair of lungs which have been affected by emphysema. Pictures: PETER MERKESTEYN

A ZOMBIE apocalypse has been used to highlight health warnings among Albury High School students.

Staff from the University of NSW yesterday spoke to about 100 students about diseases, using real organs and body parts as examples.

Education officer Julia Kiss said the creation of a fictitious zombie apocalypse was used to engage the students, showing how the diseases would spread in such a situation.

“We’re taking what they’re learning about and have placed it into the context of zombiism and zombie outbreaks,” she said.

“A zombie disease would need to be sent to another person through a bite, it needs to work quite quickly and it needs to affect the main part of the brain, leaving your brain stem intact.

“If you look at diseases that have those qualities — rabies which can be transferred through a bite from human to human and mad cow disease actually attacks the main part of your brain and leaves your brain stem intact.

“We then look at things like influenza which work very quickly.”

The Rural Clinical School event in Albury promoted healthy lifestyle.

Organs given to science by donors, including lungs, a liver and kidneys, showed emphysema and cancer.

“There’s a warning regarding healthy lifestyles,” Ms Kiss said.

“Our main thing is to teach about lifestyle-related diseases and prevent such diseases.”

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