Health Care IT: How Google, CDC, Twitter, Wikipedia Are Tracking Swine Flu

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-04-28 Print this article Print
How Google, CDC, Twitter, Wikipedia Are Tracking Swine Flu

How Google, CDC, Twitter, Wikipedia Are Tracking Swine Flu

Whether or not it will evolve into a true pandemic, or merely a panic, the swine flu has dominated the news for the past several days. Social-networking tools, including Twitter, have been tracing the spread of the disease in near real time, while Google Flu Trends, a Web service provided by, and Wikipedia have also been keeping continual tabs. The swine flu outbreak has so far killed dozens of people in Mexico, and cases have been reported in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and Israel. While social-networking tools have been vital in tracing its spread, some pundits have argued that sites such as Twitter only pour gasoline on the fires of panic, potentially leading to dangerous consequences. But the rapid dissemination of information across Web 2.0 could also potentially help at least some people better educate themselves about the pathogen.By Nicholas Kolakowski
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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