New Zealand added to Google swine flu map

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

"Likely" swine flu infections suffered by ten Rangitoto College students have been noted on Google’s official Flu Trends site, created in co-operation with the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and pinned on an unaffiliated Google Map tracking the possible pandemic.

Yesterday, deputy director of public health Dr Darren Hunt confirmed that the 10 Rangitoto students had tested postitive for Influenza A. It won't be known for several days whether they are suffering from H1N1 or "swine flu," the subset of Influenza A that has so far killed 80 in Mexico and infected more than 20 in the US, where President Obama has declared a public health emergency. But Health Separtment officials describe the scenario as "highly likely."

The 10 were part of a wider group of 22 Rangitoto students who arrived home from Mexico to New Zealand on Saturday, with 14 reporting flu-like symptoms. One is in hospital, the rest are under home quarantine.

Students at two other North Shore schools that have recently visited Mexico –Northcote College and Westlake Girls High School – are also being spoken to by health officials.

All 364 passengers on the Rangitoto students' Air New Zealand NZ1 flight from Los Angeles will be tested, say health officials, but as of Monday morning none had been approached, let alone tested or quarantined, according to a Radio New Zealand report.

The UN World Health Organisation (WHO), which has moved to stage three of its six-stage plan for dealing with possible pandemics, says Tamiflu works against H1N1. New Zealand has around 800,000 doses of the drug stockpiled.

Flu Trends, which maps the location of outbreaks, is an official initiative of Google's philanthropic wing, Google.org, in association with the CDC, and restricted to the US only.

The global H1N1 Swine Flu map, which is unaffiliated with Google.org and Flu Trends, was created by apparently science-qualified but spelling-challenged Google user "Niman" whose tagline reads "Biomedical Research, Pittsburgh, PA USA."

Google's Flu Trends site lets US citizens track outbreaks of the virus around the country, or by state, and will deliver warnings two weeks earlier than the government's official flu surveillence system, the company claims.

The search giant noticed relevant search terms increased during flu outbreaks.

Google's Predict and Prevent team mapped aggregated search terms, and the location of searchers (which can be determined by a person's IP or internet protocol address), then mapped it against data supplied by the US government's CDC.

The result is a new interactive website, Google.org Flu Trends, which lets sufferers –or at least North American sufferers – know when and where an outbreak is hitting, plus a flu-jab search engine to find the nearest place to get inoculated.

Google says it used its Flu Trends algorithm to analyse outbreaks over the past year, and found its system yielded warning signs one to two weeks earlier than CDC.

Results are updated daily. Google says it aggregates search query data to protect individuals' anonymity.

The CDC says the influenza virus, commonly known as the flu, kills around 500,000 people worldwide each year. Spotting a new strain earlier can help prevent a wide outbreak or pandemic which, under certain conditions, could kill millions.


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14 Comments & Questions

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It's now way too late to contain this outbreak. Individuals and businesses need to use the time left to get at least the fundamentals of their business and home preparedness completed. The <a href="http://www.birdflu-manual.com/pandemic-preparedness.htm">pandemic preparedness</a> section of Bird Flu Manual Online can help. You can also get your pandemic stockpiling completed.

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Spelling is the least of his issues. He's been booted from at least five message boards for crying wolf and posting unconfirmed data.

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Here we go again ! I listened to "Moaning Repeat" on National Radio this morning. I am now convinced that the majority of the world will be dead within a month unless unless the drug companies can come up with a miracle cure to save us all. I have no doubt they will, making zillions of dollars of profit on the way. Pity about the the students from Rangitoto College who are recovering and probably have developed immunity.They will not be able to contribute to the drug company profits. Oh well,next time for them perhaps. Fortunately most people will be able to see through this latest media frenzy, I hope !

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Hi is it not true that we always seem to have answers for everything but it is time to realize we are not untouchable when it comes to playing around with our genes and genetic experiments and when things like the swine flu happens we wander why ?
Wake up the NZ Govt why are you so thick and slow to respond to the real issues we face today

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This flu hasn't come from a lab. The reason it is more deadly now than it would have been 100 years ago is that it can travel on planes all over the world within a few days.

Flu mutations happen all of the time, the only reason this is different is that it can affect a lot of people very quickly

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...that the eight kids from NY contracted the virus in Cancun but the Google map of the diseased locations shows Cancun uninfected? Heaven forbid the Mexican tourism machine suffer!

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Are there any medications for this?

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The best I think is Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseltamivir
You can get it at most local pharmacies. Also sometimes I buy from UK online clinics, this is a good site to find
real brand tamiflu from Roche http://www.pharmacy-reviews.co.uk
Then there are also vaccines, just ask your doctor.

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Found this site with info on treatments and nz focus:

http://www.swine-flu-info.co.nz/

might be interesting...

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has contact no's for NZ if you think you might have swine flu...

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in about a month swine flu will have taken half or more of the united states.... All I can say is to this artical is that they need to spend more money on this very new and dangerous disease I just hope they figure out a cure soon....

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Unfortunately for the Mexican people, access to clean water, medications, etc., is a bit more difficult that in other countries. When any contagious ailment spreads (including the regular flu), it hits the countries without easy access to these things much harder...attacking the very young and very old to a much higher degree. The thought that this is a global crisis at this point seems to be an overblown media frenzy. The one death in the USA was not an American, but a Mexican child seeking help.

At this point, the answer is to not panic and fear the end of life as we know it, but to try to remedy where we can.

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Hi, I came ac cross this site:

www.swine-flu-info.co.nz

it has updates and general info on the swine flu outbreak in New Zealand seems quite good...

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A WAYYYY better map that is more popular, constantly updated, and not run by a charlatan is at
http://www.tinyurl.com/swinemap09

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