Using the Web to Diagnose Swine Flu
Are you wondering whether you or your kid is sick enough to see a doctor to get treated for swine flu?
There are two web sites available to help you out -- one from the federal government and one developed by Microsoft Corp. and doctors at Emory University.
If you click on either the federal government's site or site from Microsoft and Emory, you'll see they ask a series of questions about whether you or your child is suffering from a fever or other symptoms or has any other health problems.
It may tell you that it is indeed swine flu, known officially as the 2009 H1N1 virus, but that all you need to do is rest and get plenty of fluids. Or it may say you should seek immediate medical attention because you may be more seriously ill.
The sites are part of a broader effort to minimize the number of people who are running to the doctor or the local emergency room because they are worried about swine flu. Officials are concerned that the health system could get overwhelmed if that happens. Most people who get the virus will suffer relatively mild symptoms and recover without needing to see a doctor. But there are some people who are at risk, such as pregnant women and people with other health problems, including asthma, diabetes and obesity.
October 7, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
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