Happy New Year from the OutSmart Flu Team! Thank you for using OutSmart Flu. As you know, flu is here.

 

Flu transmission is at high levels right now in 25 states in the U.S.Image

Google Flu Trends (1/3/14) depicts a similar pattern.

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Flu transmission in the U.S. this year (red) vs. previous years.

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ILI at UHS
At UHS, only 2-3% of clinic visits are for influenza-like illness (ILI). Not surprisingly, this is lower than the national average of 4-5% (previous screen); probably because we are on Winter Break and UHS is seeing fewer students right now.

In the rest of Madison, flu transmission is at high levels. 

Flu in Madison this year (thick) vs. previous years (thin)

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Source: Google Flu Trends; 1/3/14

 

Winter Break
Similar to last year, flu is peaking during winter break. What will it be like when the spring semester starts? Will it be post-peak or still rising? That depends on how well people take precautions to prevent spreading and catching flu. Remember that when you come back from break, you will be returning to crowded dorms, classrooms, and shared space; and flu prevention begins with you.

 

OSF users
OutSmart Flu users appear to be experiencing less ILI than the rest of campus and Madisonians. Maybe you got the vaccine this year? Maybe you are washing your hands properly and getting extra rest?

These are questions our study hopes to answer at the end of the year. Please continue to use OSF, so we can track flu and flu prevention on campus.

Flu Vaccine
To date, influenza strains circulating in Wisconsin are contained in the 2013-14 Seasonal Flu Vaccine. It’s not too late to get the flu shot. If there isn’t a medical reason for you to avoid the vaccine, make an appointment with UHS to get vaccinated (call 608-265-5600). Local pharmacies are also vaccinating individuals.

Raffle
On December 20, we held our second raffle for $500. The winner was a freshman, pre-nursing student. Congratulations!

Grow OSF
Thank you for being citizen scientists and helping to track flu and flu prevention on campus. The continued growth of our community of users will improve the accuracy of estimating flu on our campus. Please invite your friends to join this unique initiative. You can use the share button on the app to email your friends to join OSF.

Twitter and Facebook
Please follow us on Twitter (@outsmartflu) and like us on Facebook (Out Smart Flu). Retweet our tweets and share our posts. Help OutSmart Flu go viral at UW!

Hope you are enjoying your Winter Break!

 

 

 

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