May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013
Researchers to Track Outbreaks Online in Britain

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. It is another busy day for Dab the AIDS Bear.

One way that we can help limit the transmission of STDs is to track the outbreak. I recently read about how Britain is trying to make a difference in the spread of STDs.

British scientists plan to harness the power of the internet to catch outbreaks of killer infections before they spread.

The researchers will use online surveillance to monitor millions of web searches where people have looked up symptoms related to conditions such as HIV, MRSA or dangerous strains of flu.

They say this will help them to locate in “real time” exactly where the next epidemic is emerging. It is hoped that this will “revolutionise” Britain’s ability to respond to deadly infections and prevent millions of deaths.

The £17million government-funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) centre, where the technologies will be advanced, is expected to be operational by October.

The Health Protection Agency currently relies on medical testing which can take up to two weeks to determine where an outbreak is happening.

Dr Rachel McKendry, from UCL, said online tracking of infectious diseases could identify epidemics before patients even visit a doctor.

She said it is “crucial” the online surveillance be linked to the mobile testing being developed at the IRC to be used in GP surgeries and even care homes.

“In a single visit someone can be diagnosed, get the result and get treatment,” said Dr McKendry.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Thursday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab