Apps can help flu sufferers cope with illness

  • Monday, January 14, 2013 6:56pm
  • Life

The flu’s running rampant, but should you consult your doctor or your smartphone? Here are a couple of apps that may help. If you are really sick, consult a health professional.

Is It Contagious? is free for Android and Apple from KidsHealth. It’s a reference app with hundreds of entries to help parents decide, first, whether symptoms or sickness in a child are catching.

The app goes further, though, to describe complications, treatments and even which guidelines to use for deciding when it’s OK to go back to school or work. An unpleasant picture gallery illustrates the obvious signs of some illnesses.

CDC Influenza is a free iPhone app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A menu option to tap for “free resources” in this app provides links to flu-related videos and podcasts from the CDC, including a video on flu warning signs and videos with celebrity athletes telling why they got flu shots.

Tap “Influenza Activity and Surveillance” for the CDC’s weekly FluView update and other reports. Unfortunately, the maps and charts offered are difficult to view on a phone screen unless you tap for the “full screen view” to make them bigger.

A separate FluView app from the CDC simply displays a U.S. map showing the severity of the flu outbreak. Tap on a state to link to its website for flu information.

Reid Kanaley

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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