Online resources for tracking swine flu

The spread of a new swine flu is quickly becoming a worldwide concern. The Web, of course, is an ideal resource for learning more about it, but there is plenty of misinformation as well. Here are the sites we recommend turning to.

Research sites

The Centers for Disease Control: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the best swine flu resource on the Web. You can learn about the outbreak of the flu and find key facts that help you understand it. There’s a video podcast by a physician, giving you in-depth information about the flu’s signs and symptoms, how it’s transmitted, and steps you can take to protect yourself. This should be your first stop.

Flu Wiki: The Flu Wiki from Wikia helps you learn about influenza. From its symptoms to its varied strains, the site provides a wealth of knowledge on just about any flu topic. It also has a swine flu wiki page that, while helpful, could be more in-depth. But since the swine flu is somewhat similar to other influenza strains, the Flu Wiki will still come in handy.

Google Maps swine flu outbreak map: The swine flu outbreak map helps you find every known instance of the swine flu around the world. The map also provides information on the current state of the ill person. It will be continuously updated, so you can track it each day. But like following minute-by-minute stock market fluctuations, we don’t recommend dwelling on this site.

H1N1 Timeline: The H1N1 (medical classification for swine flu) Timeline helps you determine where the flu is and where it’s going. You can track where it started and get information about its progression. I found it quite useful.

HealthFinder: Healthfinder is a U.S. government resource that provides health research information to the public. Its articles on a variety of topics aren’t as in-depth as those you’ll find on a private site like WebMD, but they boast all the latest information from government resources such as the CDC. And if you look for data on the swine flu, it will direct you to the appropriate government site. It’s worth checking out.

HealthMap: If you want to try out another map to see where the swine flu is heading, HealthMap is for you. It provides information from a variety of sources. And it maps all the known outbreaks of sicknesses ranging from the swine flu to Typhoid. It’s a great resource at any time of the year.

Pandemicflu.gov: offers one-stop access to U.S. Government swine, avian and pandemic flu information.

WebMD: WebMD offers information about the disease’s symptoms, treatment, and prevention. The site has a “Swine Flu FAQ” page that answers a variety of questions you’re probably looking to have answered. The information isn’t as in-depth as what you’ll get from the CDC, but it’s close.

Wellsphere: Although Wellsphere doesn’t offer as many articles as WebMD, the site and its writers–health experts from Stanford and other prominent institutions around the U.S.–provide in-depth knowledge about the swine flu. You can find the latest news and get updates about outbreaks. If you want general information on symptoms, Wellsphere will deliver that too.

World Health Organization: The World Health Organization is continuously updating its site with alerts about the swine flu. You can learn about its current effects worldwide and where it might hit next. You can also get information on symptoms and treatment. The WHO doesn’t provide as much research as the CDC, but it’s a reliable source.

 

Social network spots

If you want to get some information about the swine flu on your favorite social network, we have you covered.

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