It seems like everyone is paranoid about catching the flu right now, especially while traveling (I know I am). Well, Doctors Report Illness Tracker is a website (and mobile app) that might help ease some nerves, or possibly make them more jittery. The website/app gives users access to doctor’s reports from across the country so that they can manage their exposure to common and potentially serious illnesses by tracking where and when the outbreaks are worst. It was created by Knox Spencer Associates.
Since the information comes directly from almost one million doctor’s offices (all personal information is removed and “de-identified”), the information is supposedly highly accurate, timely, credible, and accessible. Users can instantly find out where the most common and prevalent infectious health risks exist right down to the zip code.
It’s powered by the same data that health providers and others have used to understand and analyze outbreaks of contagious diseases and other spreading health risks. It allows users to track the following diseases: flu, flu A, strep, bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, mononucleosis, common cold and cold symptoms, sinusitis, croup, Lyme disease, otitis media or ear infection, MRSA, RSV, and gastroenteritis. And you can break it down by age group: infant, toddler, school age, teen, college age, adult, and older adult.
Of course, no matter what it’s always best to play it safe by washing your hands often, wiping down surfaces with alcohol-based wipes, and keeping your hands away from your face.
For more (including on where bacteria festers at airports), see this post.