Image: Google Maps
As of now, 93% of readers told the TreeHugger Swine Flu Survey that they think the pandemic headlines are an over-reaction, or that they are washing their hands more but not avoiding public events. Only a few admit to real concerns.
OK, so most of us are keeping our heads about us, as seems proper in the early stages of an outbreak. But the World Health Organization early this morning increased the alert level to Phase 4, indicating the likelihood of a pandemic has increased. The specialists are doing their jobs, trying to stop the thing in its tracks. In spite of the advantages a disease has in the era of globalization and air travel, this swine flu will have to fight its way past some of the best prepared epidemiologists and disease control plans ever faced by an ambitious virus. But if you do want to keep your own finger on the pulse of the spread of swine flu (so you can at least tell your grandkids about that "flu of ought-9"), you can follow the spread of H1N1 Swine Flu on Google Maps.Google Maps H1N1 Swine Flu tracking indicates known and suspected cases in different colors: purple for confirmed or probable, pink for suspected. A yellow marker indicates a case that has been proven not to be the H1N1 strain of swine flu. Dots are survivors. No dot indicates the loss of a loved one, and another point for Swine Flu in the statistics against humankinds' best efforts.
A list of the victims scrolls along the left hand of the page, showing a tragic tale of a disease that is killing young and old alike. Our thoughts are with all of the people who have been cut down in their prime and their loved ones who are suffering with the reality of their loss. And we really hope that the advice of the World Health Organization will be sufficient to stamp out the spread of swine flu: "Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness."
More on the Swine Flu
Google Maps H1N1 Swine Flu
Swine Flu Reveals: What's Bad for the Environment is Bad for Human Health
Swine Flu: What You Need to Know
TreeHugger Forum: New Form of The Flu (Pig, Bird & Human)
Pork Chops Won't Give You Swine Flu, But Here Are Other Reasons to Abstain
Survey: Are You Frightened of the Flu?