Flu Guru

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Home Keeping Yourself Safe From Flu Where is the flu in my area?
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Where is the flu in my area?

How can I find out where the flu is in my area?

There are many ways to find how widespread the flu is in a given region. A flu tracker from the Weather Channel provides a color-coded United States map which tracks cases of the flu. There are also more portable methods of locating the flu. Smart phones can locate the nearest cases of flu and recent deaths. A recent release for download for the Apple iPhone locates the phone user and pinpoints the closest incidents of swine flu infection and death. Unlike color-coded maps, the download provides news stories on a global basis. This option is better for the world traveler.

How do I use the information in a flu tracker?

Just looking at a national flu tracker, a person can get an idea of how likely he might be to encounter someone with the flu. Close contact with those infected with both the H1N1 (swine) flu and seasonal flu is the means by which the virus spreads. A state with a widespread outbreak of the H1N1 flu is one in which residents are at an increased risk for getting sick.

This information can prove invaluable to employers. A Harvard University study showed that should an outbreak of the flu sicken a majority of employees at a firm, two-thirds of the businesses in the study would be unable to conduct normal operations. Businesses in states with high rates of flu, according to a flu tracker, should encourage all of their employees to be vaccinated against the flu. Some hospitals have gone so far as to require the flu shot of all of their employees.

How can I keep from getting sick?

Using a flu tracker to find where the majority of flu cases are will inform where the majority of flu cases occur. Avoiding those who are ill is only one way to keep from getting the flu. The CDC swine flu site recommends that everyone be vaccinated against the seasonal flu in order to stay healthy enough to keep from getting the swine flu. General health tips: hand washing, not sharing utensils, and getting a swine flu vaccine when available to the general public. Keeping an eye on the available flu trackers will also help people to know how many people in their area have the flu. The most widespread the illness, the more likely that an individual will get infected.

Once swine flu vaccines are made available to everyone, the more people who get the shot, the less the likelihood that the H1N1 flu will become a swine flu epidemic.  Prevention methods, especially for those in widespread areas, as shown by a flu tracker, will be the best defense for those who are healthy to remain so.



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