What is Flu Near You (FNY)?
Flu Near You is an influenza-like illness (ILI) surveillance system that allows members of the public to report their health status anonymously each week through a website or mobile application. Flu Near You then analyzes these reports and maps them to provide local and national views of self-reported influenza activity. This information empowers people to get engaged in public health to see real-time spikes in ILI and use preventive measures to protect their health.
Flu Near You allows you to:
- Complete quick and easy health surveys in under a minute to track influenza-like illness
- See self-reported influenza-like activity in real-time in your area
- Find nearby locations that offer influenza vaccines
- Connect to local public health resources
Who Created Flu Near You?
Flu Near You is a collaborative effort between HealthMap at Boston Children’s Hospital, the American Public Health Association, epidemiologists at Harvard University, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund. It was created in 2011 to track ILI across the U.S. in real-time and to provide an early signal of influenza activity. It has been used for the past four influenza seasons and has shown trends consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza surveillance data.
Participation in Flu Near You
Any resident of the U.S. or Canada at least 13 years old can participate in Flu Near You. You can register at https://flunearyou.org/. It is free and anonymous. Join 60,000+ Flu Trackers across the nation in monitoring the flu. Every person counts!
All you need is a smartphone, computer, tablet, or any other device to register, either via the website, mobile app, or Facebook.
On your first visit to the site, you can register by entering your sex, date of birth, zip code, and an email address. You can even add a household member(s) who may be too young to register. After registration, you can complete your first health status survey.
All your personal information is kept confidential and is protected by SSL encryption (the same standard to protect transmission of credit card information and other sensitive data over the internet).
Tracking My Symptoms with the Health Status Survey
Every Monday, you will receive an email with a link to your health survey where you report your health status in the past week (i.e., whether or not you had any ILI symptoms). When more people participate, the information will be more reliable in showing ILI activity in your community.
You can take steps to protect yourself and your family against disease!
The Role of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) with Flu Near You Data
VDH conducts influenza surveillance throughout the year. Flu Near You will supplement our current influenza surveillance and allow for a better understanding of influenza activity. Because we are interested in incorporating Flu Near You data to enhance the influenza surveillance in Virginia, we encourage residents of Virginia to participate in this novel disease tracking and surveillance system.
Flu Near You in the News:
- “Flu Near You Wants to Track Influenza Trends” – The Daily Beast (2014):
- “Forecasts May Soon Predict Flu Patterns” – Boston Globe (2015):
- “Flu Season 2014 News: “Flu Near You” App Can Reduce Transmission of Influenza” – Latin Post (2014)
Research Articles about Flu Near You:
- Flu Near You: Crowdsourced Symptom Reporting Spanning 2 Influenza Seasons. Smolinski MS, Crawley A, Baltrusaitis K, et al. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(10).
- Public Health for the People: Participatory Infectious Disease Surveillance in the Digital Age. Wójcik OP, Brownstein JS, Chunara R, and Johansson MA. (2014). Emerging Themes in Epidemiology, 11(7).
- Rumi Chunara: Flu Near You. Talk given at the GET Conference. 2014.
- Keeping Track of Rising Flu Activity in Your Area. ABC 6: Philadelphia, December 18, 2014.
- Flu Near You Powerpoint Presentation
- Flu Near You Informational Pamphlet
- Flyer for Registration
- Flyer for Tracking
For more information, please see:
Flu Near You website: www.FluNearYou.org
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): https://flunearyou.org/#/faq
For additional questions regarding Flu Near You and how to participate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
You play a critical role in understanding and tracking the flu!