Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Googling Swine Flu

Holy smokes! The swine flu has taken over the airwaves. As with anything alarming, it's best to start with grounding yourself by getting reliable information.

A current search for swine flu using Google gives you a swine influenza result from Wikipedia as a top result. That's all well and good, but if you aren't careful to look at the top of the Wikipedia page, you'll miss the fact that the information on that site is about the flu in pigs, not humans.

Thankfully, if you've read carefully, you'll have seen the link to current event: swine flu outbreak at the top of that Wikipedia page. By clicking on the History tab at the top of the swine flu outbreak page, you'll see that information has been changing several times an hour. That may not be all that bad, but we can start with a trusted resource to get reliable updates.

To find information from just the CDC website on this topic, search this phrase in Google: site:cdc.gov swine flu

The first result takes you to the official CDC swine flu page.

1 = the latest update is time stamped in red at the top

2 = there is a link to international information from the World Health Organization

3 = the options on the right allow you to get updates to this page via email, Twitter, or RSS. Videos & podcasts are available to learn more, and the site can be translated into Spanish.

Arm yourself with trusted information. Be smart, be safe, be healthy.

1 comment:

Joy Graham said...

NYT published an interesting a few days ago on this topic. It talked about how health care professionals can use the Internet as a surveillance tool to predict public health crises.