Thursday, July 23, 2009

For Those Who Flu Across the British Isles

As the British government tries to contain the current outbreak of swine flu, they are encouraging citizens to take part in an interactive website that allows potential patients to assess their symptoms and even arrange to pick up anti-viral drugs that the automated system deems necessary. More than a mere chatbot, the official Flu Survey from the government also offers a number of interesting information graphics, which include maps of potential areas of infection and graphs of patterns of infection. Of course, with the rules of the system this easy to deduce, it wouldn't take much for unscrupulous Britons to lie on the online forms in order to get medication that wasn't needed for stockpiling purposes, but health officials apparently think the risk of an escalating pandemic is far greater.

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