The Associated Press reports:
“Estimates of deaths caused by the swine flu have grown to nearly 4,000 since April, roughly quadrupling previous estimates. But that doesn’t mean swine flu suddenly has worsened. Instead, the federal numbers made public Thursday reflect a long-awaited better attempt to quantify the new flu’s true toll.”
We’re glad to see public agencies making a better effort to give people the information they need to protect themselves, given the fact that:
“I am expecting all of these numbers, unfortunately, to continue to rise,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have a long flu season ahead of us.”
Tight supplies of vaccine to combat the illness continue: Not quite 42 million doses are currently available, a few million less than CDC had predicted last week.
From the beginning, FluTracker has been a reliable and current source of up-to-the-minute information on the spread of swine flu. Turn to FluTracker for the most accurate and timely data about the spread of swine flu.
The best way to stop the spread of swine flu is to stay informed. Luckily, as flu season begins and the threat mounts, major media outlets have been getting the word out about FluTracker. Read below to get the latest on how FluTracker is making an impact.
TV news outlets highlight using FluTracker to find flu in your area
Does your neighbor have swine flu?
Pittsburgh station WPXI-TV highlights FluTracker’s features and impact in this feature. Learn more about how FluTracker works, how accurate its data is, and how you can help in this feature.
CNET: FluTracker “your best bet”
CNET reports: “Rhiza Lab’s FluTracker app is one of the best ways to track the swine flu on the Web. […] If you’re looking for in-depth but easily understandable tracking of the swine flu, FluTracker is your best bet.” Read more.
LifeHacker: FluTracker easiest, most informative
LifeHacker notes that out of all flu tracking sources, FluTracker “is the easiest to read and packs the most information in.” Read more.
Rhiza on the Radio
Talk radio station KQV recently highlighted the impact of FluTracker on public health and the community. Read the interview.
This Wednesday, September 23 at 3:00 PM (EST) URISA, the Urban Regional Information System Alliance will be hosting an exciting Webinar about the controlled crowdsourcing technology behind Rhiza’s popular FluTracker website.
FluTracker is able to make outbreak data available to the public 5-10 days ahead of the estimates provided by the CDC. This Webinar will explain how you can utilize controlled outsourcing and take advantage of the newly developed technology and the omnipresence of the public to inform people of flu outbreaks. This is just one example of how Community Participatory Mapping is being used to make information more readily available to the public. You will learn how to best utilize this tool and get the maximum amount of benefits from the developing technologies.
“Crowdsourcing and the H1N1 Virus” will be presented by Maryl Widdows and Andrew Macurak of Rhiza Labs, located in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit URISA.
We have 10 free registrations available to companies and government agencies interested in learning more about the technology behind FluTracker. Please email widdows at www.rhiza.com to reserve your space ASAP.
Learn more about the design process behind FluTracker from Jeff Christensen, Rhiza Labs’ Chief Product Officer, in the latest URISA News. URISA is the leading association for professionals in the urban and regional information systems, with chapters across the United States. Read the full article after the jump: (more…)
It’s been a busy month for the FluTracker team. We’ve been sharing our work at conferences, spreading the word in major media, helping Fortune 100 and Federal agencies with preparedness planning, and continuing to track an emerging threat. (more…)
Premiere Indian geoscience publication Geospatial Today notes Rhiza Labs’ contributions to mapping swine flu. Read the article.
Concerned citizens and medical professionals alike need detailed, timely information about the spread of H1N1 swine flu to safeguard their communities and families. The CDC and WHO should be releasing more detailed and timely information about the spread of swine flu than is currently available to the public. Moreover, both organizations are releasing information with decreasing frequency, despite the increasing spread of the virus.
Join the call for better flu information by signing the FluTracker petition online! Click here to sign.
Read on for the full petition:
Who said playing video games never amounts to anything Coral Cross, a new game from the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies (HRCFS), is using FluTracker data to spread pandemic preparedness information faster than the flu itself can spread.
Commissioned by the Hawaii Department of Health in 2008 and funded by the US federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coral Cross was originally intended to simulate the effects of a near-future global influenza outbreak in Hawaii and to collect critical public feedback. However, just weeks before the game was scheduled to launch, the actual H1N1 epidemic grew to pandemic proportions, and HRCFS retrofitted Coral Cross to “game” the swine flu crisis. “Serious games” like Coral Cross are an increasingly popular way to engage and inform participants around potential crisis situations.
Coral Cross is an exciting addition to the enormous roster of innovative ways citizens and organizations are using FluTracker. With federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies using FluTracker to support their pandemic preparedness planning, and technology firms delivering delivering FluTracker directly to citizens’ cell phones, FluTracker has proved to be of wide use in a variety of settings.
“If you are at all interested in volunteered geographic information for health or other purposes, I suggest you keep an eye on Rhiza Labs.”
–Adena Schutzberg, “GIS for a Changing Health Landscape,” Directions Magazine 6/12/2009
BREAKING NEWS — Sudden spikes of swine flu have led the World Health Organization to declare swine flu a pandemic, which is marked by sustained, widespread transmission across the world. Health leaders announced in the Times of London: “We need to avoid complacency in dealing with a virus that is an unknown and seems to be spreading quickly.” (Watch a video of swine flu’s spread)
Tools to help your organization respond
In response to this emerging challenge, Rhiza Labs created FluTracker to get more flu information to more people more quickly. FluTracker has been acknowledged as tracking the spread of swine flu 5-10 days faster than the CDC. While FluTracker remains free for personal use, Fortune 100 companies, public agencies, and major hospitals have engaged Rhiza to tailor FluTracker to their needs. For example, AT&T purchases FluTracker data to track flu outbreaks in relation to their employees around the world. Whether you need the information and tools to analyze it, or you want the information for analysis in your own system, FluTracker fits your needs.
Prepare, plan, and protect your assets with FluTracker
Decisions about preparedness, and continuity hinge on complete information. In a tight market, use FluTracker to support critical decisions with the most up-to-date information about the swine flu pandemic.