Swine Flu Resources Proliferate Across the Web

With the potential for pandemic, government agencies must stay informed.

by / April 27, 2009 0

With more than 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S. and the number expected to grow because of the virus's novelty, government agencies will be expected to respond quickly as conditions warrant. Thanks to the emergence of Web 2.0, several helpful online maps, mash-ups and wikis are available to help keep officials in-the-know. Here are a few examples, though it's nowhere near an exhaustive list:

A Disease Mash-Up

The HealthMap is a Web Site that aggregates the occurrence of disease outbreaks and plots them on a map. The data comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, World Health Organization, Google and other sources. The HealthMap has launched a map dedicated to swine flu.

Google Map Tracker

A user claiming to be a biomedical researcher and who goes by the screen name "niman" has created a Google Map that tracks reported, suspected and confirmed Swine Flu cases.

Swine Flu Wikis

Several user-generated wikis about swine flu are sprouting up across the Web. One example is at Wikia.

Official Numbers

The Centers for Disease Control is maintaining a Web page with an official tally by state of confirmed swine flu cases.

Twitter Search

Are you looking for breaking news in near real-time about the latest swine flu cases in your jurisdiction? There's perhaps no more powerful tool than Twitter Search, which is the search engine for the popular short messaging Web site. Citizens from around the world are posting thousands of updates per hour about the influenza's latest developments. It's a great example of "crowdsourcing." The Centers for Disease Control also has its own Twitter page.

Chad Vander Veen

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.