Twittering the Swine Flu (Follow @CDCemergency)

By Timothy M. O'Brien
April 25, 2009

While you relax this weekend, there is a flurry of activity throughout the world's medical and public health organizations. It appears that a new Type A influenza virus A/H1N1 has made the jump to human-to-human transmission, this means that the CDC's next step is to focus on public education, prevention, and communication. Mexican authorities have reported 1000 cases with 62 deaths. The CDC and the WHO have kicked surveillance and communication operations into high gear.

If this turns into a flu pandemic, this will likely be the first pandemic to be influenced by microblogging services such as Twitter. You can already see that the Centers for Disease control is using Twitter agressively to get the word out @CDCEmergency:

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Check here for CDC Podcasts about Swine Flu. You can also follow @RedCross which seems to be focused on this potential flu pandemic:

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Communicating prevention strategies is often the single most effective weapon against the spread of a disease. Something as simple as Twitter could be the critical communications technology which helps prevent a wide-spread outbreak.

Oh, and go wash your hands.


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