Who would have ever thought the day would arrive where we could track outbreaks of disease or sickness and make that information visually and publicly available using mapping technology? This past week the Swine Flu has been the topic that has everyone concerned.
From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the U.S. and internationally have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see Human Swine Flu Investigation.
[ Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention ]
I found several tracking sources, that use mapping technology, but the one that I consider the most credible is the:
HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.
A second source, is a Google map posted by a Google user, who is identified as a person of biomedical research [ CLICK HERE ]. The map depicts locations where the H1N1 Swine flu is suspect, confirmed or where death has occurred.
Questions about the Swine Flu?
Check out “Health Blog Q&A: Swine Flu in the U.S. and Mexico”
[ Wall Street Journal ]
Addendum (April 28, 2009): The Wall Street Journal has posted a “Swine Flu Case Map” [ Click Here ] that depicts cases of the Swine Flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and government officials.