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Social Media and H1N1 Flu

With both H1N1 and seasonal flu that grab people’s attention during this unusual flu season, how can we deliver reliable information fast enough to the maximum number of people available, so the general public will be able to prepare and protect themselves?

Since the H1N1 outbreak in April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun using social media tools including Twitter, YouTube, social networking sites and podcasts to deliver dependable and up-to-date information to the public and health professionals and to reach new audiences.  On the CDC Novel H1N1 Flu Webpage, you can find a list of applications, such as CDC on Facebook (28,521 fans ), CDC Twitter feed for emergency information including H1N1 flu (990,257 followers), or CDC YouTube Video. The applications are used for a variety of functions including, bulletins on the new confirmed cases and new treatment recommendations.

Other new CDC web 2.0 features include a mobile version of the website, as well as a texting pilot project, which provides information on seasonal flu, H1N1 flu, public health emergencies. These social media applications provide a method of mass communication, reaching out to tens of thousands, even millions of people at the same time, which can be extremely useful during a pandemic outbreak.

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