Tracking the flu

To simulate the progression of a flu epidemic, Stanford researchers gave tracking devices to every teacher, staffer and student in a high school and tracked everyone hcontinuously throughout the day.

The system provided researchers with a better understanding of how disease can spread based on which people were close enough to others, and the recorded database of these interactions can serve as a digital platform on which to simulate other contagious scenarios.

Conclusion:  Everybody’s at equal risk from the nerds to the popular kids.

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  1. Interesting, but the message to students and staff should still be the same: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose (with your elbow) and stay home when you have a fever or other significant symptoms.

    Influenza can survive and be transmitted from desks, pencil sharpeners, door knobs and hand shakes.

    Influenza can be deadly, especially for small children, the elderly, immune compromised and pregnant women. In the U.S. alone, between ten and forty thousand die from influenza yearly.

    Vaccinations afford 70-90% protection, depending on the year and the patient’s immune system. However, if 80% or more of the population get immunized, a community gains herd immunity, and even the few that didn’t gain immunity from the shot, will be protected, as there will be virtually no chance of the virus infiltrating that community.