Flu Maps

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared the 2012-2012 flu season to have reached epidemic proportions.  The weekly FluView report from the CDC also publishes weekly flu maps. A map of the United States showing weekly Influenza reports for the week ending January 5, 2013, indicates that 47 of the states are reporting widespread geographic influenza activity with California and Mississippi reporting regional activity and Hawaii sporadic flu activity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) tracks global flu activity on its site.  The latest flu activity summary (WHO flu map for January 7, 2013) from the WHO as of January 7 indicates that North America, Europe, north Africa, eastern Mediterranean and temperate Asia have started to report and increase in influenza activity recently.

Online Flu Maps

HealthMap was developed by a a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children’s Hospital to map out real time surveillance of public health issues.  The main site, HealthMap.org tracks news articles and key witness reports for a range of diseases.  The search bar at the top of the map allows users the ability to filter by type of illness.

FluNearYou is a site from HealthMap that participants over the age of 13 can sign up for.  Each week, over 40,000 participants mostly in in the United States report weekly about whether or not they are experiencing flu symptoms. Green pushpins indicate no flu symptoms, yellow pushpins are for those with some symptoms, and red for those with the flu or a flu-like illness.  Polygon overlays by state for 

Screenshots from the Kort OpenStreetMap app.
Map showing self report flu conditions for the United States from Flu Near You.

Google Flu Trends

By tracking search terms relating to users searching for information about flu and flu symptoms, Google found that it could assess with a  good degree of accuracy the flu activity around the world.  The results of a study on using flu symptom search terms to analyze flu activity was published in the journal Nature in 2009 (see: Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data).

Screenshots from the Kort OpenStreetMap app.
Map from Google Flu Trends. Screenshot taken on January 11, 2013.

Esri Flu Maps

The Esri Vulnerable Populations Flu Impact Map and Health Information Map are available to embed or share as part of ongoing flu and public health coverage. The Vulnerable Populations Flu Impact Map displays crowdsourced flu reports by ZIP Code over Esri demographic data for seniors and children under 5.

The Health Information Map shows flu surveillance reports from the CDC  and related social media. You can customize the map by zooming or panning and changing the keywords or date ranges to localize geo-tagged social content. Both the default map or your customized version can be embedded on your news site by using the Link button.


Flu Vaccine Finder Map

The CDC recommends that everyone older than six months of age be vaccinated against the flu each year.  In particular, those in high risk groups (pregnant women, those with ailments such as asthma, lung conditions, and diabetes, and those older than 65 years of age) should consider getting the flu vaccine. The Health Map Vaccine Finder helps user to find locations offering flu vaccines based on an address or ZIP code.


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