Sorry, my friends, but fall is on it’s way. Soon those yellow things that whisk away our kids to those places of fancy book-learning will be lining the streets. Soon, there will be children packed tightly together, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sharing their summer stories, and whatever diseases they have been exposed to. And so begins flu season.
There isn’t much we can do about it, flu season will come, people will get sick and have the common flu symptoms, and flu season will go and then we’ll go about our Christmas shopping. But maybe we can get a bit of a heads-up and get our favourite remedies to help prevent, or at least get us through it a little less miserably. Here are some sites that could help you prepare for flu season.
Google has done something pretty interesting with their search statistics. It seems that they analyze what people are searching for, and if they are searching for flu-related subjects, it takes into account where they are searching from and trends that out.
Although the trends are not based on any medical evidence, Google professes to be able to, “estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.”
It’s an interesting system, and easy to use, as most things Google are, however it’s geographically limited to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. Hopefully this will grow into a global system that can help us prepare.
This could be the most extensive site dedicated to influenza. Mostly it functions as a forum for journalists, medical professionals, and average folks to discuss influenza.
There are plenty of authoritative articles on flu prevention such as a videos titled Prevent Illness – Wash Hands Video and How to Sneeze in Public – Video. It’s amazing how many people just let it fly when they sneeze, or sneeze in their hands and then open a door.
Since an army runs on it’s stomach, I suppose it can’t run well on a vomiting stomach. That’s why the Department of Defense has it’s Global Emergence of Infection System.
Although a lot of their data is restricted to tracking military personnel cases, it can still be a reliable indicator of what’s happening in your area. They also publish their influenza care guidelines and policies which could be very useful, should the flu get out of control. Forewarned is forearmed.
The World Health Organization is a UN creation that is intended to track disease and provide policy on disease control. So you can imagine what kinds of resources they have at their disposal to do this.
With great fact sheets that summarize things related to influenza, the WHO can be a good resource for the non-medical professional as well. Personally, I found the ten things you need to know about pandemic influenza article to be pretty enlightening, if not a bit alarmist.
One can hardly mention the WHO without mentioning the CDC. Although the WHO is an international organization and the CDC is an American organization, it seems that they function together to help keep the world healthy.
The CDC has a great resource in their Influenza section of their website. There are some excellent free downloads on influenza including information on what it is and various flu symptoms. You can share the downloads with your family, or maybe your workplace, or child’s school.
Also interesting is their Weekly Flu Report. Currently, it’s saying that the number of incidences and such are well below epidemic levels for the last week. That’s good to know.
Do you know of any other online sources for preparing for flu season? Let us know about them in the comments.