Preparing For H1N1 and the 2009 Flu SeasonTags: H1N1, CDC, WHO, Veratect, Public Health Initiatives
As the influenza season approaches, our focus has turned to the Southern Hemisphere to learn how they weathered their first wave of the pandemic H1N1 Influenza virus. On Ozmosis, physicians have been following regular tactical reports on H1N1's impact from Dr. James Wilson, Chief Scientist and Biosurveillance expert at Veratect. Dr. Wilson's reporting has included morbidity and mortality statistics, effects on ICU's and infrastructure, and social dissent and unrest stemming from H1N1's spread. While there are too many variables to reliably predict what our experience will be this fall, the reports reveal some very concerning details about how quickly the health systems in many countries were overwhelmed by both the sick and the worrying well.
More than two million people are believed to have contracted the new flu in the U.S.; 7,511 had been hospitalized and 477 had died as of Aug. 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. World-wide, 177,457 people have been confirmed with the disease, and 1,462 deaths had been reported as of Aug. 12, according to the World Health Organization.
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Social Media And Public Health: New Tools In The Battle Against InfluenzaTags: H1N1, Health Alerts, CDC, WHO, Veratect
For the past six weeks Ozmosis has been quietly testing a new Real-Time Health Alerts solution. In its early stages, this tool is a joint project between Ozmosis and Veratect, a company that tracks disease outbreaks globally. While we had not intended to publicly launch the Health Alerts solution yet, the recent events around the Swine Influenza outbreaks have caused us to push ahead. After launching to the Ozmosis community yesterday, the system has quickly generated significant usage and results. Unlike a simple RSS or Twitter feed for Swine Flu and Pandemic alerts, the Ozmosis solution allows its physicians to:
- view, search, and filter through alerts state by state
- discuss management and treatment options, share health department and CDC updates
- submit their own potential cases for review which are then evaluated by Veratect, verified and reported back to Ozmosis, the CDC, the UN, and other health agencies