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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:41 PM
Original message
This is interesting...
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 02:46 PM by undergroundpanther
We are currently partnered with 14 organizations that provide us with direct ground observations in 238 countries. We are a multi-source, near-real time event detection and tracking organization with years of experience in this discipline.

March 30

Veratect reported that a 47-year-old city attorney for Cornwall was hospitalized in a coma at Ottawa General Hospital following a recent trip to Mexico. Family members reported the individual voluntarily reported to the hospital after gradually feeling ill upon returning from his trip on 22 March. The source stated that the hospital did not know the cause of illness. The case was reportedly on a respirator and awaiting a blood transfusion, but sources did not provide symptoms or a suggested cause of illness. This information was available in our web portal to all clients, including CDC and multiple US state and local public health authorities, however no one had connected this mans illness with a potential crisis in Mexico.

Residents believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to "flu." However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.Local health officials had implemented several control measures in response to the outbreak. A health cordon was established around La Gloria. Officials launched a spraying and cleaning operation that targeted the fly suspected to be the disease vector. State health officials also implemented a vaccination campaign against influenza, although sources noted physicians ruled out influenza as the cause of the outbreak. Finally, officials announced an epidemiological investigation that focused on any cases exhibiting symptoms since 10 March.This information was available in our web portal to all clients, including CDC and multiple US state and local public health authorities.

April 16

Veratect reported the Oaxaca Health Department (SSO) indicated that an unspecified number of atypical pneumonia cases were detected at the Hospital Civil Aurelio Valdivieso in Reforma, Oaxaca State, Mexico. No information was provided about symptoms or treatment for the cases. NSS Oaxaca reported that rumors were circulating that human coronavirus was spreading at the hospital; sources did not provide any response to these statements from the hospital or health officials. Laboratory samples were sent to Mexico City for analysis; results were expected to be released sometime next week. According to NSS Oaxaca, health officials had intensified preventive measures aimed at mitigating further spread of the disease. Sources reported that the SSO also implemented a sanitary cordon around the hospital.

April 20

Veratect was urgently asked to provide access to the VeraSight Global platform on 20 April by a client in the US public health community, and indicated they had received word from their counterparts in Canada that Mexican authorities had requested support. This client speculated whether notification of all southern U.S. border states public health authorities should be done and were confused as to why the CDC had not issued an advisory. Veratect contacted the CDC Emergency Operations Center to sensitize them about the situation in Mexico. CDC indicated they were already dealing with the crisis of recently detected H1N1 swine influenza in California and possibly Texas
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Follow their twitter site...updated several times per hour
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 02:47 PM by rainbow4321
Has been accurate so far with the exception of Canada cancelling flights to and from Mexico--but given their accuracy on everything else, you have to wonder was that decision made and then rescinded before it was announced publically.

It's a "real time" way to follow what is happening around the world.

Hit refresh every so often and you get new updates on what countries are finding suspect case, real cases, what steps they are taking---Russia is now "banning meat products from the US states with swine flu cases", "Japan travel agencies cancelling tourism trips to Mexico", the list goes on and on. the entries are entered either right as MSM announces the news and sometimes before they announce it.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Never twittered before
What is it?
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't twitter, either...
But you can follow people that do, you don't even have to sign into twitter to read other people's entries. Youcan even use their search engine to pick certain twitter accounts to follow.
The blog you referred to is run by the same company that is doing the "real time" entries into their twitter account. As soon as they find out what is happening world wide with the swine flu problem, they enter it into their twitter account.
Basically, it let's people tell their friends/family/whoever "this is what I am doing every second of the day" by using one or two sentence entries. I've never felt a need to do that, but it is a cool system to follow news stories by because there are usually people who are at the news happening location who are twittering and you get the info straight from them..and not thru the MSM. Back when the Mumbai attack happened, there were lots of locals twittering so you could find out what was happening pretty quickly.

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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Sign up at
It's free, and quite useful...

Wikipedia has a good definition...

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free to use over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

To get updates about the swine flu spead, you can follow @Veratect or @pandemicwatch
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Imagine being automatically notified (web or test msg) with DU post titles...
and a link to the full post. That's what twitter is/does, in practical terms.

You choose from whom you wish to receive such posts (aka "tweets").

For example, I follow Huffington Post. I get auto-notified via a firefox extension. Here's all of their recent tweets:

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