PANDEMICS Pt3: How To Track Epidemics

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This is the third of a four-part series on pandemics exploring the possibilities, the resources and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

When an epidemic breaks out, information and tracking is critical if the disease is to be successfully contained. The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) are two of the largest agencies monitoring the emergence of epidemics worldwide.  The Center for Disease Control has compiled an influenza resource center complete with domestic and international epidemic news and tracking, while The World Health Organization has created the Global Alert and Response (GAR) program to quickly and effectively respond to epidemic outbreaks around the world.

You can track epidemics on your own using HealthMap, a real-time disease outbreak surveillance tool. HealthMap aggregates and charts news sources, eyewitness reports, and expert-curated discussions to create a visual rendering of the world’s epidemic outbreaks. Explore Google Flu as well to track influenza trends throughout the world based on flu-related search criteria.

Protect yourself and others from epidemics by keeping a two-week supply of water in your home, washing your hands frequently, and learning how to sneeze properly. Take the Flu IQ Quiz to learn more about flu prevention and follow along as we continue to explore the threat of pandemics in the coming months.

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