Swine Flu: Tracking the Story


Great! The government has declared a public health emergency just as we roll into the end of the semester and start gearing up for finals. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to track its progress and get good, reliable information on the disease itself.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is regularly updating its general information on the illness here: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

They’ve also joined the microblogosphere via Twitter! Their profile, CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response, lists its mission for “increasing the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.” Sign up for their updates here:
http://twitter.com/CDCemergency/

If you’ve got an iGoogle page, you can add a tab on the flu: iGoogle Flu Watch

Sabrina Pacifici has pulled together a useful list of online resources: Online Resources to Track and Monitor National and Global Course of Human Swine Flu including a link to Google Maps: H1N1 Swine flu in 2009 where cases are visualized on the map: Pink = suspect; Purple = confirmed; Deaths lack a dot in marker; Yellow markers = negative

Here are the recommendations from the CDC to stay healthy.

1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

1. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
2. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Remember! Stay rested, make healthy food choices and keep yourself hydrated!

About Bonnie J. M. Swoger
Science Librarian at SUNY Geneseo, a small, public liberal arts college. I am interested in scientific communication in general and how we teach students about how scientists share information.

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