New Ways to Track the Flu

January 17, 2014
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There’s probably nothing worse than getting the flu. You cough, you sneeze, you ache and you probably feel downright awful. Flu season 2014 is in full swing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half the United States is reporting widespread outbreaks. Some states have even reported influenza-related deaths.

There’s probably nothing worse than getting the flu. You cough, you sneeze, you ache and you probably feel downright awful. Flu season 2014 is in full swing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half the United States is reporting widespread outbreaks. Some states have even reported influenza-related deaths.

Even though it’s not too late to get a flu shot, there are other ways to stay healthy. One way is to avoid close contact with someone who is ill. Another way to beat the flu season is with the help of a website called Flu Near You.

With Flu Near You, you can track influenza trends around the country. The site tracks self-reported information on flu-like symptoms on its estimated 80,000 participants. Once you sign up on the website you are sent a weekly email asking whether you had a flu shot and a short survey asking if you’ve experienced any symptoms.

The results of the survey are then analyzed and thousands of multi-colored dots light up a map of the U.S., each one representing a person who has provided feedback about their health to the website. Orange dots represent symptoms while blue dots mean no symptoms. Areas with red dots indicate areas that are experiencing an influenza-like illness trend.

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This new viable health resource is just another way technology and new ways of communication are improving the healthcare industry.