Just as Doppler scans the skies for bad weather, Sickweather scans social media in real time for people reporting symptoms or illness. That's according to the CEO of Sickweather who said he developed the app, mostly for parents. “There was nothing from the CDC or the Public Health Department, let alone in real time, that told me that information that could give me some sort of pre-diagnosis to go off of and know what to do next,” said Graham Dodge.
The app also gives alerts when you go into a sick area. Dodge said “We had a mom tell us that because she had received our sick zone alert for strep throat, when her son developed a high fever that week she knew to get him tested for strep, and he tested positive, so she was then able to get him on the antibiotics he needed to go back to school, so she could go back to work.”
Web MD released a new report saying Austin is 16th of 20 cities in the U.S. that are likely to experience high rates of cold and flu symptoms early in the new year.*
There are several things you can do to prevent the flu such as wash your hands, eat well, exercise. There is also still time to get your flu shot. Doctors said this year it is working. Kris Ehresman is a Director for the Infectious Disease Unit, “What we're seeing circulating matches what's included in the influenza vaccine this year. So that bodes well for protection and coverage."
Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye, and Strep Throat are just some of the illnesses Sickweather tracks. They currently track 23 and are constantly adding more. It can also tell you how likely you are to get sick. “We also have a new feature called sick score that lets you know the threat level of contagious illness is in your area, by measuring all of the reports of contagious illness around you within a certain radius,” Dodge said,
So now everyone can check the forecast for the weather and illness. “There's this need as a parent with little kids running around the house to know what’s going around in our area.”
Sickweather is available online sickweather.com. You can also download the app free for both Android and iPhone.