Flu Near You: An Online Self-reported Influenza Surveillance System in the USA

Rumi Chunara, Susan Aman, Mark Smolinski, John S. Brownstein


In order to simultaneously learn about influenza activity and epidemiology across the nation, we harnessed the Internet and volunteers from around the nation to develop a participatory system for monitoring influenza-like-illness, called Flu Near You. Building on the work of participatory systems in other countries, we created a platform for weekly collection of the prevalence of 10 symptoms from volunteers. A freely available website provides an illustration of the distribution of users and their symptoms, by week. After a year of operation and with user feedback, we are able to evaluate design of the platform. Subsequent years will focus on expanding the system and detailed analysis of the data.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v5i1.4456

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org