In Focus: Want to know who gave you the flu? There's an app for that
By Kristina Serafini
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 1:38 p.m.
The flu season is in full swing with 47 states currently reporting widespread activity.
In Boston, the outbreak was so severe that Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency last week. At the time, there were 700 confirmed cases of the flu compared to a mere 70 last year.
At Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa., emergency tents were set up outside to care for an onslaught of patients coming in with flu-like symptoms last week.
Things aren't much better on this side of the state.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, nearly 1,000 cases of the flu already have been reported this season in Allegheny County as of Jan. 5.
If you're one of the unlucky ones who has bitten by the flu bug, you probably would like to pummel the person who passed along their germs to you — once you feel better, of course.
Well now you can. There's an app for that.
“Help, My Friend Gave Me the Flu” is an app created by drug company, Help Remedies, that works by trolling your friends' status updates looking for any signs of illness in an effort to find the carrier monkey who infected you.
The app will then provide you a list of people you can interrogate.
And if you haven't caught the flu yet, the app also tells you what friends you may want to avoid.
You know, in case you couldn't already tell by incessant status updates about feeling ill, check-ins at MedExpress and photos of used tissue.
It's a darn good thing that I already have these investigative skills because the app didn't work for me.
Thankfully, I haven't come down with the flu yet (knock on wood), so I tried checking to see which of my friends have been sick.
The app got stuck on “scanning photographs for dark circles” for a while before it stopped completely. I guess the amount of friends I have who run on very little sleep were enough to crash the app. I haven't even been able to use it since.
I hope there's still time to get a flu shot.
Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.