Healthy living

New website to track swine flu launched

website has interactive map Take part in the flu survey!

A new interactive website providing accurate, up-to-date information on swine flu to the general public launches today.

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, working with the UK Health Protection Agency and European partners have set up the site. It will enable visitors to access information on transmission, symptoms and treatments, advice on controlling the spread of swine flu, and the latest statistics on the number of reported cases in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

The website can be viewed at www.flusurvey.org.uk.

The new website is aiming to keep people updated on recent swine flu developments, and is also asking people to take part in their flu survey. They want to hear from everyone, with or without flu, to build up a picture of the pandemic in the UK in real time.

Participants will be asked to report weekly on any symptoms they have experienced since their last visit to the site, after which they receive an assessment of whether their symptoms (if any) are likely to be flu. They'll also receive regular updates on the progress of the pandemic in the UK, along with the latest news and advice about flu. So far over 3,000 people have registered.

The site includes an interactive map showing each reported flu case. This allows you to follow the progress of the pandemic as well as locating hotspots in the UK.

Richard White, Senior Lecturer in Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and one of the scientists who has set up the site, comments: "We hope that this system will give us a more accurate, up-to-date description of disease in the community, and keep people informed of pandemic progress in the most up-to-date and complete way possible. This method has been successfully used for a number of years now in Holland, Belgium, Portugal and Italy, and we hope that by collecting data in similar ways across different countries we can compare the epidemiology of flu very accurately"

This article was published on Thu 23 July 2009



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