New Facebook app helps avoid catching the flu

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- For people who contract the flu and are looking for someone to blame, now there's an app for that.

It's a new Facebook app from Help Remedies, Inc. that uses your friends' status updates and check-ins to find out which of your friends might have the flu.

"It looks for late night check-ins, people who are saying that they're coughing, or that they're coming down with something or they're sick; or people who know people who are sick," said Richard Fine, CEO of Help Remedies, Inc.

It also looks at people your friends checked in with or people they might be around.

For example, if your Facebook friend posts a status about riding in a cab with a coughing cab driver, he'll be flagged as a possible suspect.

"Maybe you people are better people than me. But I always want someone to blame, and I think this plays into that need to find somebody who did this too you," Fine said.

But the app has practical uses.

Say you show up to work, check Facebook, and it tells you your coworker was up late, coughing and feeling achy. You should probably avoid her.

And Grayson County Health Director John Teal said avoiding germs from people who might be sick is the best policy.

"We do want people to go back to techniques they used in 2009 when we had the large H1N1 worldwide outbreak, which was cough into your sleeve," he said. "Try to stay away from people who are coughing if you can."

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizers frequently if you touch things in highly public areas, he said.

"Flu virus can live up to about eight hours on doorknobs and flat surfaces like desks, or keyboards on a computer," he said.

And its important to know the symptoms.

"The key thing to look for is the sudden onset of fever, sore throat and cough," Teal said.

He said it's not too late to get a flu shot. The county just ordered a new shipment and will have plenty in stock by the end of the week, Teal said.


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