Technically Geeking: Humans Infect Their Computers with H1N1 Virus Oct28

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Technically Geeking: Humans Infect Their Computers with H1N1 Virus

swine-flu-onlinea blogumn by Justin Time

As you may have heard, President Obama recently declared H1N1 (aka Swine Flu) a national emergency. What really got my geek attention, however, was when I noticed in the headlines that Microsoft has posted a website where you can go to self-diagnose your flu symptoms to see if you are likely to be sick with H1N1 or just the regular flu:

H1N1 Response Center – from Microsoft

Actually, it was created by Emory University and Licensed by MS, but still I am impressed to see a huge corporation with little to gain taking up the charge. I’m even more impressed that H1N1 has the media power to get the attention of the software giant.

So basically, you get the flu, you worry it is the swine flu and you might die. So you go to the website above to find out. They ask a series of questions about specific symptoms and the path that they took, and if your symptoms don’t match up with typical H1N1 symptoms, you are free to go about your usual crappy flu-infected business. If your answers indicate that you may be infected with H1N1, a helicopter will be deployed to your location based on your IP address and you will be swept away to a quarantine facility in an undisclosed location. (You’ve seen or read Blindness right?) Just kidding – you will be advised of your best options for treatment and you will be asked for your consent to share the info so that larger virus tracking systems can be updated, like CDC maps such as:

CDC H1N1 Flu Map

You may have also heard that vaccines are in short supply, if you are into that sort of thing. In any case, here is a site that has a flu shot locator along with a wealth of other related information, and they have the cutest URL ever:

Information is power. The point of all this is to try and reduce the number of people that get H1N1 but don’t realize it and die without proper treatment. But maybe it will also reduce the number of people that don’t have H1N1 but think they do, and then they go out into the world spreading their version of the flu which can also be dangerous. It’s going to be interesting to look back in 20 years or so and see what effect the internet had on the rate of viral infection in the grand scheme of things.

As a parting note, if you are sick, please stay home from work or school if at all possible. We don’t want your cooties.