.Drop in number of swine flu cases

 

 

Health officials ask people to continue taking precautions

Dry and cold spells lead to spread of H1N1 virus

Of the 112 samples tested, 11 found to be positive


HYDERABAD: The swine flu cases continued to dip in the State even as one more person, D. Satyanarayana Goud (35), died at Gandhi Hospital, authorities confirmed. On Saturday, out of 112 samples tested, 11 persons were found to be swine flu positive while the death toll, according to health authorities, has now surged to 37.

The victim, who died on Saturday at Gandhi Hospital, had a history of heart ailments and was a patient of rheumatoid arthritis, officials said.

The deceased needed ventilator support and was referred to Gandhi Hospital from Chest Hospital. The patient was sent to Chest Hospital from Kamineni Hospital, authorities confirmed.

Meanwhile, number of patients at the outpatient department of Osmania, Gandhi and Chest Hospitals continued to decrease on Saturday. Chest Hospital received only 15 patients while Osmania and Gandhi Hospitals together received 50 patients with swine flu like symptoms.

Authorities have again requested general public to continue taking precautions because the dry and cold spell, which will follow the rains, would be ideal for the H1N1 virus to thrive.

‘Be wary’

“Once rains subside, people will start venturing outside and again the virus will start transmitting. Public should be wary and take precautions,” swine flu State coordinator Dr. K. Subhakar.

Meanwhile, at Care Hospitals, a woman underwent angioplasty and later on the hospital doctors detected that she had swine flu.

As a result, the whole angioplasty unit consisting of doctors, paramedics, nurses and other staff who took part in the procedure are undergoing prophylaxis treatment for swine flu.

As a precaution, the operation theatre where the surgery took place had to be shutdown for a day.

AP allows pvt hospitals to treat swine flu patients

AP allows pvt hospitals to treat swine flu patients

HYDERABAD: The State Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with private hospitals including Apollo Hospitals at Jubilee Hills and Global at L B Nagar here for allocating ten beds for treatment of swine flu patients.

According to the District Health and Medical Officer (DHMO), Hyderabad, Dr Jayakumari, as per the MoU, the private hospitals will allocate the ten beds for swine flu patients.

As on today, 417 persons were screened at the 8 screening centres and five samples have proved to be suspects which have been sent to the Institute of Preventive Medicine for test.

Superintendent AP Chest Hospital Dr S V Prasad said that a total of 4 cases were presently under treatment with the hospital. They include two confirmed cases and two are suspects awaiting their reports. All others have been treated and sent home, he add ed.

He stated that the new guidelines were helping the hospital to take care of serious patients better.

On lot of people sporting masks and whether it was necessary, Dr Prasad said that there was no need for people to wear masks.

However, people suffering from cough and cold should sport a mask and not others, he advised.

Five more swine flu cases confirmed – HYDERABAD

Five more swine flu cases confirmed

HYDERABAD: The health authorities on Wednesday confirmed five more cases of swine flu in the city .

All the positive cases were local cases and do not have any travel history. With this, the total number of positive cases went up to 231 in A.P.

Out of the five positive, three were admitted to the Chest Hospital while one each at Gandhi and OGH.

The patients admitted to Gandhi and OGH hail from Jangaon and old city respectively, the officials said.

Meanwhile, DH&HO Dr. Ch. Jaya Kumari asked private hospitals including Care, KIMS, Kamineni, Image and Yashoda to set up isolation rooms, as local cases of swine flu were rising.

3 more swine flu deaths take India’s toll to 138

3 more swine flu deaths take India’s toll to 138

Three more people – all in Maharashtra – died of swine flu Tuesday, taking the country’s toll to 138, health officials said here.

With the three deaths, the total number of people who have died in the state due to the contagious influenza has gone up to 65.

Meanwhile, 245 fresh cases were reported in the country, taking the number of people affected with the flu to 5,221.

‘Till date, samples from 26,037 people have been tested for influenza A (H1N1) in various government and private laboratories across the country, and 5,221 of them have been found positive,’ said a statement issued here.

In Delhi, a total of 84 people, including 38 children, tested positive for the flu, taking the total number of those affected with the influenza A(H1N1) virus to 994.

Four people have died so far in the Indian capital due to swine flu.

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said the ‘situation is under control and the government is doing its best in providing treatment to H1N1 patients in government hospitals’.

She also advised people to visit a doctor at the earliest if any symptom of swine flu appears.

‘Of the total cases (in Delhi), 846 people have been treated and discharged. At the moment, 147 people are under treatment – 16 of them are undergoing treatment at different hospitals, while rest of them are being home quarantined.’

She said 84 cases tested positive for the flu Tuesday. Of these, 36 have been advised to quarantine themselves at home, she said.

Walia said it has been made mandatory for four private empanelled laboratories testing H1N1 virus to report all the positive swine flu cases to the state nodal officers, to enable the government have full details about the total number of patients affected by H1N1 virus as well to ensure their full treatment and trace all those they came in contact with.

Apart from Delhi, some of the other states from where fresh cases were reported were Tamil Nadu (38), Haryana (27), Uttar Pradesh (22) and Karnataka (17).

Maharashtra, which has reported the maximum number of deaths and cases in the country, had two fresh cases. This has taken the total number of people in the state infected by the virus to 1,857.

Swine flu claims 135 deaths so far!

New Delhi: With the death of 4 more people, India’s Swine Flu death toll have reached 135 mark this Monday.

Swine flu claims 135 deaths so far!

147 new cases have also been reported with the count touching as high as 4885 for the total number of people affected by H1N1 virus.

Out of the recent 4 deaths, 2 death were from Goa, one death each was reported from Delhi and Karnataka. In New Delhi, 69-year-old Durga Prasad Sharma died due to the swine flu.

Sharma, who was on ventilator and undergoing dialysis had first gone to a private hospital before being shifted to the RML Hospital. ‘His x-ray report had confirmed pneumonia. He had tested positive for the virus,’ Chaturvedi said.

In Bangalore, a 29-year-old woman succumbed to H1N1 virus. She was 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

Fourth swine flu death in Delhi city – India

The Capital reported its fourth death from influenza H1N1 on Monday, when 69-year-old Durga Prasad Sharma died of chronic renal failure at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

Sharma had been in a critical condition ever since he was brought to RML on August 28.

“We were worried about this patient for the last couple of days and finally he passed away. He was in a critical state, as he had been suffering from several other medical conditions,” said state health minister Kiran Walia.

Sharma was on ventilator and undergoing dialysis. He had been admitted to RML for renal failure and also showed signs of H1N1. He finally tested positive for the flu on September 1 and breathed his last at 11.30 am on Monday.

The three previous swine flu deaths in the city were of 38-year-old Renu Gupta, from Model Town; 31-year-old Samrat Pandeya, a resident of Gurgaon, and 44-year-old Faridabad resident Usha Jain. All of them died in August.

52 new cases

Fifty-two positive cases were reported from the city on Monday, taking the count to 910. Of these, 791 patients have already been treated and discharged. Of the 52 confirmed cases, 29 are children.

Four schools have also been partially closed in the city.

Swine Flu Death Toll in India goes up to 135

New Delhi: The Swine Flu death toll in India has gone up to 135, with four more people succumbing to A H1N1 virus on Monday. At least 147 fresh Swine Flu cases were reported across the country, taking the total number to 4,885. Delhi reported another death, which was fourth Swine Flu death in the national capital.

In New Delhi, 69-year-old Durga Prashad Sharma died of Swine Flu at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital on August 28. In Bangalore, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was the latest victim of Swine Flu.

Rosaiah tells officials not to be lax on swine flu



Hyderabad: Chief minister K Rosaiah on Monday held a review meeting with the minister for health and other senior officials on the prevalence of swine flu and the measures needed to be taken to contain its spread.
While assuring the people that there
was no need for panic, Rosaiah asked the officials to take all necessary steps for early detection and treatment of the disease. The chief minister said the officials should always be alert and take all measures to see that there is no let up in the drive against swine flu.
He said funds would not be a problem in tackling swine flu and asked the health department to re-appropriate funds if needed and not to hesitate in seeking additional funds as and when required. The meeting decided to continue the preventive checks at the
Shamshabad airport and, if needed, strengthen facilities at gateway hospitals on inter-state routes. He said awareness should be created among people about early symptoms if the flu.
Rosaiah told the officials that there were complaints from doctors about shortage of masks and directed them to solve the problem. He also advised
the health minister to call for a coordination meeting of the GHMC officials and health department officials to review the health and hygienic conditions in the city following heavy rains and water stagnation at many places and waterlogging in the low lying areas. He said immediate steps should be taken for fogging in these areas. Rosaiah said ten ventilators have been sanctioned for Gandhi Hospital.
The total positive cases reported are 215 so far of which 200 have been discharged and 11 are in critical condition. There were 4 deaths.

Chest Hospital shuts doors on non-swine flu cases

Hyderabad: With as many as 80-100 patients pouring in a day with suspected swine flu symptoms, the AP General and Chest Hospital has little manpower and machinery to attend to other routine healthcare services. Among the services now closed for ‘non-swine flu patients’ is the Critical Care Unit (CCU), which is being used only for critical H1N1 cases.
However, on an average, the hospital gets at least six critical cases with acute, life-threatening illness or injury and these cases are being referred to Gandhi Hospital or Osmania General Hospital as the CCU beds are being reserved only for swine flu cases.
What is more, of the 36 doctors in the Chest Hospital, 27 are devoting their time to attending to the swine flu unit. The ‘noentry’ for other patients is being attributed to manpower and space crunch.The move to cut down on other services is questionable as the footfall in other outpatient wards is around 800 per day.
Officials say that they are in any case witnessing a drop in general out-patients with people avoiding to step into the hospital in view of the swine flu scare.
Hospital authorities also admit that the H1N1 influenza is their current focus. They said that other than this, the hospital is not in a position to handle the extra load.
The hospital is the only one in the city doing sleep studies but has now decided to put its Sleep Lab services to bed due to the shortage of manpower.
“We have cut down on our services by 25 per cent because the admission period for other critical cases is comparatively longer. So we are not in a position to admit them. We are referring non swine flu cases to OGH and Gandhi Hospital. The daily swine flu OP cases are between 80 and 100,” said Dr S V Prasad, super
intendent, AP General & Chest Hospital.
He added that the hospital has a capacity to handle six emergency cases and two more for oxygen therapy. The eight beds are all full with flu cases, he said. Explaining the reason for more cases coming to the hospital, Dr Prasad said that treatment of critical cases costs Rs 20,000 per day in a private hospital and
thus people prefer to come here.
The hospital is turning down at least 10 requests a day from private hospitals for admitting acute pneumonia cases.
Dr Prasad said that swine flu has already reached a pandemic proportion and if the situation persists, then the hospital would require further funding and expansion would become essential.

Most H1N1 deaths in India between 16-45 yrs

New Delhi: Around 44% of those who died of H1N1 swine flu in India till August 30 perished within three days of being hospitalised. On an average, all those who died visited two private healthcare facilities before finally reaching a designated government hospital.
Around 45% of those who died suffered from co-morbid conditions like diabetes, heart and liver diseases. These are the main findings of the health ministry’s analysis of the first 82 deaths in India till August 30. The number of fatalities in the country has since risen to 101.
The age group of 16-45 years has been the worst hit with the virus, with 55 of the 82 who died belonging to this category. The virus hasn’t behaved any differently among men and women. Of the 82 deaths studied, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) found 43 to be males and 39 females. The time interval between hospitalisation and death
oscillated from one day to 12 days. In almost 44% of the cases, the patient died within three days of being hospitalised. The average time length of onset of illness and administration of Tamilfu has been found to be just over five days. The duration is the same for onset of illness of those who died and when they reported to the hospital. Around 75% of those who died came from urban areas.
Reacting to the findings, NICD director Dr Shiv Lal said, “It is clear that delayed reporting caused most of the deaths. People must understand that reporting early to a designated H1N1 testing and treatment facility is vital. People should avoid visiting hospitals not designated for H1N1 care, which leads to loss of vital time. Patients with co-morbid conditions should be extra careful and go immediately to a designated H1N1 facility if they have swine flu symptoms.”
There’s some relief for the health ministry as the virus hasn’t undergone any mutation.

India to import H1N1 vaccine to inoculate
20L health workers

India will vaccinate 20 lakh healthcare and emergency services personnel against the H1N1 virus by the end of January using an imported vaccine. The health ministry has set aside Rs 100 crore as an interim budget to purchase these vaccines from any one of the four international manufacturers — Novartis, GSK, Sanofi Pasteur and Baxter — whose candidates are presently undergoing human trials. However, India has one clear condition — the vaccine would have to undergo safety and efficacy trials on the Indian population before being used in the country. TNN

Shocker: Swine Flu becomes resistant to Tamiflu

12 countries report cases

The dreaded H1N1 virus has reportedly become resistant to the only available vaccine in the world, Tamiflu, as 12 countries, some of them Asian recorded cases with mutation of the virus.

According to the World Health Organisation china and Singapore are among the 12 countries, however India is not. The other countries include Japan, US, Hong Kong, Denmark and Canada. Saudi Arabia is on high alert as airport officials are not allowing anyone even with a common cold to enter the country. India has begun exit screening of pilgrims traveling to Haj. Passengers traveling to Saudi Arabia and Mecca now require a health certificate which states that the pilgrim isn’t suffering from seasonal flu or has H1N1 symptom.

CEO of India’s Haj committee Mohammad Owais said, “A high-level expert committee has been formed to see whether all Indian pilgrims can be given a 42-day regimen of Tamilfu as a form of protection. The committee will see what the drug’s side effects will be if used for so long and whether it is a feasible proposition.”

Officials from the WHO have stated that the H1N1 virus is undergoing a change that is making it resistant to Tamiflu. Tha major concern of the WHO is that the H1Ni1 resistance to Tamiflu is more widespread than reported. Moreover, the vaccines that are being developed and manufactured by the thousands at the moment may all be ineffective since the virus has now changed.

ICMR director general Dr V M Katoch said”We have been constantly sequencing genes in H1N1 to mark any form of mutation. However, we have still not found a case of oseltamivir resistant H1N1 virus.”. He added, “Fear of resistance is why we are so careful about Tamilfu’s availability to the public and its use in management of H1N1 infected or suspected patients. Tamilfu is now only available in select hospitals so that we can keep a record of the treatment.”

Goa records first Swine Flu death, India Toll goes up to 131

New Delhi: Goa recorded the first Swine Flu death, as a 28-year-old woman, died of A H1N1 virus on Sunday. Six more Swine Flu deaths were reported from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, taking the country-wide death toll to 131. In Maharashtra, three more people died of the deadly disease. The state has accounted for 62 Swine Flu deaths so far.
93 fresh cases of Swine Flu were reported from across the country, taking the total number of positive cases to 4,738. Delhi reported 35 cases on Sunday, while Maharashtra reported 19 cases. 17 people in Karnataka were tested positive for A H1N1 on Sunday.

Health – Two more swine flu deaths in Hyderab

Two more swine flu deaths in Hyderabad

Two women died of swine flu here Saturday taking the toll due to influenza A (H1N1) in Andhra Pradesh to four, officials said.

Rupa Devi, 38, who was admitted to government-run Chest Hospital a week ago, succumbed to the illness Saturday. The woman, a resident of Bholakpur area in the city, was brought to the hospital after she did not get any relief from fever at two hospitals.

Another woman, identified as Lakshmi Devi of Kadapa town, died at a private hospital, where she was admitted Aug 25.

This is the second time that two deaths were reported due to swine flu in a single day in the state.

Two men had died of the dreaded virus Tuesday, the first deaths due to swine flu in the state.

Health officials said 126 swine flu cases have been reported in the city. India’s first swine flu case was also reported here May 16.

Swine flu has so far claimed 116 lives in the country.

Swine flu inspires new video game

Swine flu inspires new video game

London: Since swine flu first emerged in April, it has sparked panic, vaccine production and now, a video game.In an effort to further raise awareness, Dutch researchers have created a game that challenges players to control a new pandemic.

“It is actually what is happening now, what is happening in the real world,” said Albert Osterhaus, head of virology at the Erasmus Medical Center, who designed “The Great Flu” game with colleagues.

The game can only be played online at http://www.thegreatflu.com and it is free. A World Health Organization spokesman said Monday the agency was not familiar with the game and had not had time to play it.

WHO has reported nearly 178,000 cases of swine flu including 1,462 deaths worldwide, though those numbers are believed to be a gross underestimate of the actual caseload, since hard-hit countries no longer test all cases with flu-like symptoms.

As the virus has spread worldwide, countries have tried different methods to slow it down and pharmaceutical companies are now racing to produce a swine flu vaccine.

The game begins with images of bedridden patients and graveyards from the 1918 Spanish flu. As the head of the fictitious “World Pandemic Control,” players pick a flu strain, and then monitor that strain’s spread around the world.

To fight the emerging outbreak, players use measures including setting up surveillance systems, stockpiling antivirals and vaccines, and closing schools and airports. Players also have a limited budget and are warned that “your actions to control the virus cost money, so keep an eye on it.”

A running tally of the numbers of people infected and those who have died sit above the budget. Newspaper stories about the deadly virus and the global response to it – like riots breaking out worldwide – pop up to help players monitor the outbreak.
Messages from governments mirror the difficulties faced by international agencies like WHO. For instance, when players set up costly surveillance systems, the game often relays a message from governments that “we will comply with your directions…but we must inform you that the political support for this action is low in this region. Therefore, the effectiveness of the system may differ from your expectations.”

Osterhaus said the video game’s approximation of combating a pandemic, choosing between various interventions yet still watching the outbreak spread, gives people a sense of how difficult it is to make decisions in the public health world.

Azad blames State CMs for H1N1 fatalities

New Delhi: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday blamed State Chief Ministers for their slow response to the H1N1 outbreak.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

He said this after chairing the State Health Ministers” Conference, which was held to review the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM).

Azad said that very few State Chief Ministers had contacted him. He said, “I had to chase State Chief Ministers rather than them asking.”

Mechanism needed to monitor health standards

As the health authorities in Delhi confirmed two swine flu deaths, he said each state should have institutional mechanism to monitor health standards.

The Minister also deflected blame after criticism over the handling of the H1N1 outbreak.

A 35-year-old female patient died at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Wednesday night becoming the first victim of the virus in the national capital.

Thirty one year old Samrat Pandeya, a resident of Gurgaon, who was initially treated at various private hospitals and later brought to the RML Hospital, succumbed to the virus on Thursday morning.

Swine Flu H1N1 grips Indian cities

Swine flu toll rises 6

Swine flu is spreading to all corners of India. Starting from school-going Reeda Sheikh of Pune, half-a-dozen-people, including a four-year-old boy from Chennai and an Ayurvedic doctor from Pune, have succumbed to the disease. There are no effective vaccines to contain the swine flu. The government appears to be clueless on tackling the spread of the disease. People usually get swine influenza from infected pigs. The swine flu virus A (H1N1) spreads in the same way as seasonal influenza – through direct contact (within one metre of an infected person) or indirect contact (touching a contaminated surface). For A-to-Z of the Swine flu phenomenon, read on:

Two succumb to swine flu


Both cases were critical when they were admitted, says District Collector

Both had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

ARDS is infection of lungs, according to doctors


HYDERABAD: Hyderabad reported its first swine flu deaths with two persons, both with no prior travel history, succumbing to the H1N1 virus. The victims, T. Malyadri (35), died in the wee hours of Wednesday while Prasad (25), died on the night of August 31. Apparently, shocked by the news of Malyadri’s death, his wife T. Shobha suffered a stroke and took a fall from the stairs in their house and later succumbed to injuries.

Malyadri was admitted to a corporate hospital on August 30 and was pronounced dead on Wednesday morning after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors said he also had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), an infection of lungs in addition to swine flu.

The second victim, Prasad, was shifted to Erragadda Chest Hospital from Osmania General Hospital in the morning of August 31 and died on the same day. Doctors said Prasad died due to ARDS.

“Both cases were critical when they were admitted. We appeal the public to visit doctors at swine flu screening centres if flu like symptoms persists after three days of medication from a local doctor.

The dead bodies have been packed according to WHO guidelines and their relatives have been counselled,” informed district Collector Mr. Naveen Mittal. Malyadri, a builder by profession, was a resident of Satyanarayana Nagar, Gudimalkapur while Prasad hailed from B.N. Reddy Nagar at Champapet.

“As a precaution relatives have been given doses of Oseltamivir. We are contacting residents in the neighbourhood and those with flu like symptoms would be given treatment,” said District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO) Dr. CH. Jaya Kumari. Chest Hospital doctors said that the health condition of Prasad was ‘bad’ when he was admitted.

“He had respiratory distress syndrome along with swine flu,” State coordinator for swine flu Dr. K. Subhakar said.

On ventilator

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old woman, admitted to Chest Hospital, continues to fight for life.

“She is still on the ventilator. We are monitoring her round the clock,” Dr. Subhakar said. Till now, about 195 positive cases of swine flu have been identified in the State.

Woman dies after swine flu claims husband


Relatives not prepared to confront last journey’ of two members in one family

Shobha suffered a stroke; the couple is survived by three children

She stopped eating food since Aug. 30 when her husband was hospitalised


PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Tragic: The two young sons of realtor Malayadri carry the urn for the final rites, with masks over their faces at Satyanarayana Colony near Attapur in Hyderabad on Tuesday. –

HYDERABAD: The rose petals, strewn all along the streets of Satyanarayana Nagar at Gudimalkapur till the main road, suggested of a last journey. But, relatives of T. Malyadri, one among the two persons to die of swine flu in the capital, never ever dreamt and were not prepared to confront the ‘last journey’ of two members in one family.

The denouement of Malyadri’s wife, Shobha and the daunting prospect of raising three children, two boys and one girl, have left relatives heart broken.

Relatives shocked

“She stopped eating food since August 30, when he was taken to the private hospital. She insisted that she will consume food once he returns,” aunt of Malyadri, Lakshmi recalls.

The Satyanarayana Nagar colony on Wednesday afternoon was abuzz, as friends, relatives, neighbourhood women made a beeline to pay their respects to the husband and wife duo.

The women of the neighbourhood were huddled together, discussing about the incident.

Bolt from the blue

“It was a consanguineous marriage. They have three lovely kids and it’s a shock for all of us. Till yesterday everything seemed so perfect and simple,” says housewife Sunitha, a neighbour. The neighbours were still in disbelief, as nobody expected Malyadri to test positive for swine flu.

“The local doctor said that it was dengue. He gave some medicines but Malyadri’s condition did not improve. That’s when we decided to shift him to a private hospital. But, we never thought that he will have swine flu because he did not travel outside,” pointed out Ms. Lakshmi.

Grief-stricken

According to relatives, when the ambulance arrived to the residence on Wednesday morning, Shobha rushed downstairs. Then suddenly she suffered a stroke, slipped and fell down.

“We rushed her in the same ambulance to a private hospital. But, she died before reaching the hospital. The kids are shocked,” said Ms. Laksmi, amidst sobs.

Hyderabad firm delivers anti-swine flu drug

Hyderabad-based Hetero Drugs, the licensee for the supply of anti-swine flu Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), today delivered 90 lakh capsules of the drug, following an order from the Union government.

The order, finalised urgently yesterday, was for the supply of one crore capsules, Hetero Drugs Director M Srinivasa Reddy told PTI here.

The remaining 10 lakh capsules will be delivered by Monday, he said.

The company keeps an inventory of two crore capsules — one crore in ready packs and another crore in the form of raw material, Reddy said.

Hetero Drugs will also supply four lakh bottles of Oseltamivir for paediatric use by the end of the month, he said.

The company can manufacture 10 crore capsules a month but can produce 10 crore more per month at its new plant in Visakhapatnam, he added.

Hetero Drugs has the licence from Swiss company Roche to manufacture and supply Oseltamivir in India and many other developing countries.

New iPhone application can alert users to swine flu, infectious diseases

Washington: Apple has introduced a new iPhone application, which enables users to track and report outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as H1N1 (swine flu), on the ground in real time.

The application called ‘Outbreaks Near Me’ has been created by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab.

It uses the HealthMap technology, an online resource that collects, filters, maps and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases, and provides a new, contextualised view of a user’s specific location.

Via HealthMap, the new application pinpoints outbreaks that have been reported in the vicinity of the user, and offers the opportunity to search for additional outbreak information by location or disease.

‘Outbreaks Near Me’ has another additional functionality-the ability to set alerts that will notify a user on their device or by e-mail when new outbreaks are reported in their proximity, or if a user enters a new area of activity.

“We hope individuals will find the new app to be a useful source of outbreak information – locally, nationally, and globally,” said HealthMap co-founder Dr. John Brownstein.

He added: “As people are equipped with more knowledge and awareness of infectious disease, the hope is that they will become more involved and proactive about public health.”he new application also features an option for users to submit an outbreak report.

This feature would enable individuals in cities and countries around the world to interact with the HealthMap team and participate in the public health surveillance process.

In fact, users can also click photos – of situations and scenarios of, and/or leading to, disease – with their iPhone and submit them to the HealthMap system for review and eventual posting as an alert on the worldwide map.

“This is grassroots, participatory epidemiology. In releasing this app we aim to empower citizens in the cause of public health, not only by providing ready access to real-time information, but also by encouraging them to contribute their own knowledge, expertise, and observations. In enabling participation in surveillance, we also expect to increase global coverage and identify outbreaks earlier,” said HealthMap co-founder Clark Freifeld. (ANI)