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Quickly Noted: Swine Flu Updates

April 25, 2009

2099869248_2f19514f54_o Things are happening quickly in the swine flu world. Too fast for me. And frankly, there are plenty of other people out there who are much more skilled at reading the tea leaves, and those who have more access than I do so get info faster. You should be listening to those folks.

In lieu of my repeating the amazing work being done by those folks, I’d much rather point you in their direction so you get the info you need when you need it, unfiltered. Unless something really huge happens, or something specifically regarding communication around swine flu, this will probably be my last post on it.

At work on Friday, I routinely told other folks what was going on before any official communications from CDC or WHO. You’ll note that I posted on Twitter about the Mexican outbreak days before any connection was made to the US cases. I heard about suspicions at the NYC school middle of the afternoon on Friday.

I saw these things not because I’m clued in, or have a direct line to Dr. Besser’s office–but because I’m on Twitter. If you want the latest rumors and notices about upcoming conference calls and updated webpages, you should take the plunge and sign up for Twitter. It’s free and requires no downloads, and is as bleeding edge a tool as I’ve ever found. Head over to and click on the Get Started–Join! link at the bottom of the page. Create a username and you’re on Twitter. Simple as that.

Once you’ve logged in, head to the following account pages. These are the people/organizations that have been breaking the latest updates. Click the “follow” button under their username and you’ll start to receive their updates. In their updates, you’ll see usernames following “@” symbols. That’s a direct reference to another person. If the information from that person is good, follow them too.

@CDCEmergency – CDC’s emergency alerts

@Veratect – a company that does worldwide disease surveillance; created in response to the swine flu

@BirdFluGov – HHS Twitter account

@BreakingNews – regularly beats the traditional media for breaking news all over the world

@dozonoff – environmental health researcher from Boston

@diseasegeek – Canadian reporter Helen Branswell





@DemfromCT – dailykos blogger/physician who regularly posts on pandemic issues

@jnwilliams76 – CDC contractor in emergency & risk communications



@AndrewPWilson – member of HHS social media team



I’ve also been following the following blogs that have been providing great information:


Homeland Security Watch

Effect Measure

If there’s any Twitterer or blog I missed, please leave me a comment below.

Image from action datsun

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  1. Watching emerging story for risk communications lessons | Homeland Security Watch
  2. Swine Flu Action Items for Public Information Officers | Brian McDaniel on Strategic Communications

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