Monday, April 27, 2009
Tracking Swine Flu using Google Maps
View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map
Infectious cases of the H1N1 Swine Flu—a mutation of a pork virus that jumped from pigs to humans—happened in Mexico City in March, and are spreading over the world thanks to the ubiquity of modern air travel.
On the map, the pink markers are suspect, the purple markers are confirmed, and deaths don't have a black dot in the marker. The yellow markers are negative.
People in Toronto are all too familiar with this, having gone through the SARS near-pandemic from 2002 to 2003. As of today, the number of swine flu cases worldwide exceed 2,000 -- a substantial percentage of the total SARS cases (over 8,000).
SARS had a pretty significant negative impact on the economy of the city of Toronto, and more generally, the world. The current swine flu outbreak is happening in the midst of a global recession, so I expect it will be a force acting to make the overall economic impact worse.
I have no idea who the creator of the map is, although the profile of the anonymous creator shows a reference to biomedical research.