Swine flu near you? iPhone app will let you know

Apple's increasingly popular App Store has been flooded with a wide number of applications related to Swine Flu since the initial H1N1 outbreak in March, but very few of the apps were actually useful.

Apple's increasingly popular App Store has been flooded with a wide number of applications related to Swine Flu since the initial H1N1 outbreak in March, but very few of the apps were actually useful.

But now there is an application for finding reported instances of Swine Flu, along with other diseases, in your area. Outbreaks Near Me is a free app by HealthMap that tracks your location and pinpoints local instances of the Influenza virus in real time. In addition to logging visual instances of the illness, the application can also be used to inform others of known cases that may not already be in the Health Map system.

Google Maps powers the app, which tracks news outlets, various blogs, and Twitter for reports of Swine Flu, in addition to reports from the United States Centers for Disease Control. HealthMap's Dr. John Brownstein says that the application was developed to "encourage basic prevention practices, like good day-to-day hygiene and vaccinations," in an overall effort to educate people on the ongoing spread of the disease and reduce its reach.

Outbreaks Near Me is a free download from the App Store. Be sure to take a look at the numerous other available Swine Flu related apps in our App Guide.

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Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
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