A Simple Plan to Deal with COVID-19: Free Flu Shots for All (Mother Jones)

Mother Jones: A Simple Plan to Deal with COVID-19: Free Flu Shots for All . “There is an amazingly simple and clever step that the US federal government could take to counter a possible COVID-19 surge this fall and winter: a national crash program for flu shots. So far, the Trump administration has not embarked on such a program.”

Bloomberg: U.S. Preps for ‘Tremendous Burden’ of Flu, Covid Hit at Once

Bloomberg: U.S. Preps for ‘Tremendous Burden’ of Flu, Covid Hit at Once. “Covid activity is expected to ‘continue for some time’ and ‘could place a tremendous burden’ on an already stretched health-care system if coupled with the influenza season that comes each fall, top officials including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will tell House lawmakers on Tuesday, according to prepared testimony.”

Washington Post: CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter will likely be worse

Washington Post: CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter will likely be worse. “Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more deadly because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season.”

CNET: Where to get your flu shot for cheap and for free in 2019

CNET: Where to get your flu shot for cheap and for free in 2019
. “You can certainly make other efforts to ward of the virus, such as keeping your hands and home clean, but the fact of the matter is that the flu shot does work. And everyone is susceptible: There are only two groups of people who should not get the flu vaccine. In this article, earn about where you can find flu shots for cheap and for free, plus more on why you really need one.” This article did not mention where I got my flu shot: Costco, for $19.99. Thank goodness for friends with Costco memberships…

VentureBeat: AI uses Google Trends data to predict how many people will get the flu

VentureBeat: AI uses Google Trends data to predict how many people will get the flu. “In a newly published paper (‘Sequence to Sequence with Attention for Influenza Prevalence Prediction using Google Trends’) on Arxiv.org, scientists hailing from the University of Tokyo describe a system that taps data from Google Trends, a tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search, to improve precision. They report that their approach achieves state-of-the-art results in preliminary tests.”

CNET: ‘Turbocharged’ AI flu vaccine to be tested in US soon, report says

CNET: ‘Turbocharged’ AI flu vaccine to be tested in US soon, report says. “The flu vaccine isn’t perfect, but Australian scientists are trying to make it work better. Researchers at Flinders University in South Australia developed a way to use artificial intelligence to create a ‘turbocharged’ flu vaccine. The computer program, called Sam, is set for a trial in the US soon, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.”

State Tech Magazine: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

State Tech Magazine: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu. “No one needs a reminder that this flu season was one of the worst in recent years. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests it may have been worse than the 2009 season, when the swine flu pandemic strain swept the country. The good news, however, is that digital data is helping researchers and public health organizations provide more timely predictions about the spread of the flu and assessments of seasons in progress.”

ThinkProgress: A dangerous piece of fake news is spreading like wildfire on Facebook

ThinkProgress: A dangerous piece of fake news is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. “A study from NewsWhip found earlier this week that one of the top four stories with the most engagement since Facebook’s change belonged to YourNewsWire, a notorious fake news factory. The story, which claimed that an unnamed ‘CDC doctor’ said the flu vaccine was ‘causing [the] deadly flu outbreak,’ had at the time generated more overall engagements than any story from outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, or even Fox News. (The YourNewsWire story has since fallen a few slots.) At last check, the YourNewsWire story had nearly a half-million total Facebook engagements. “

WMAR: Sickweather app tracks sickness through social media posts

WMAR: Sickweather app tracks sickness through social media posts. “Sickweather is an app that tracks sicknesses through public social media posts. It originated in Cockeysville and has since gone global. The three co-founders of Sickweather met at Dulaney High School, now their app is helping moms and others attempt to beat any bugs or illness by tracking them on a live map…. ‘Sickweather is like the Doppler radar or Waze if you prefer of illness. We scrape social media data. We also get data intake from a number of our partners,’ said Michael Belt, co-founder and chief technology officer for Sickweather.”

Phys.org: Dr. YouTube … what’s your diagnosis?

Phys.org: Dr. YouTube … what’s your diagnosis?. “According to Pew Research center, in 2013, about six out of ten Americans searched for health information online in the past year. With patients regularly turning to the internet for health advice, a group of researchers aimed to evaluate the educational quality of seasonal influenza videos on the user-generated, video-sharing platform, YouTube.”

Digital Trends: How The CDC Uses Google, AI, And Even Twitter To Forecast Flu Outbreaks

Digital Trends: How The CDC Uses Google, AI, And Even Twitter To Forecast Flu Outbreaks. “As summer gives way to fall, flu season is about to be upon us. Proper preparation is essential if there’s to be enough medical professionals and vaccinations to go around. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention play a huge role in making sure practices and hospitals around the country know what to expect.”

New Web Site Tracks Flu Levels Around the United States

A new Web site provides information on flu activity around the US. “When you enter a zip code on Communidy.com, it shows where the flu level is in your county, breaks it down by age group based on real-time data from local physicians and helps connect you with nearby doctors.” It told me the flu activity was high in this county, which based on all the people taking off work I would have guessed…

PubMed – Evaluating Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia as Tools for Influenza Surveillance Using Bayesian Change Point Analysis: A Comparative Analysis.

Found at PubMed: Evaluating Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia as Tools for Influenza Surveillance Using Bayesian Change Point Analysis: A Comparative Analysis. “Traditional influenza surveillance relies on influenza-like illness (ILI) syndrome that is reported by health care providers. It primarily captures individuals who seek medical care and misses those who do not. Recently, Web-based data sources have been studied for application to public health surveillance, as there is a growing number of people who search, post, and tweet about their illnesses before seeking medical care. Existing research has shown some promise of using data from Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia to complement traditional surveillance for ILI. However, past studies have evaluated these Web-based sources individually or dually without comparing all 3 of them, and it would be beneficial to know which of the Web-based sources performs best in order to be considered to complement traditional methods.”

Google and Google Flu Trends

Google has announced an update to the Flu Trends site. “Instead of maintaining our own website going forward, we’re now going to empower institutions who specialize in infectious disease research to use the data to build their own models. Starting this season, we’ll provide Flu and Dengue signal data directly to partners including Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (to update their dashboard), Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Influenza Division. We will also continue to make historical Flu and Dengue estimate data available for anyone to see and analyze.”