Swine flu epidemic has engaged resources in healthcare industry; government agencies, clinics and hospitals, private companies and many more. Still, swine flu vaccine is in shortage and the burden on hospitals is increasing day by day. Minnesota initiated a nurse hotline and you can dial 866-259-4655 to check whether you have symptoms of swine flu, instead of waiting in long line. Other states are catching up and setting up similar system. I was reading some articles online about burden on the clinics and hospitals of diagnosing people for swine flu and ran across an online tool that was developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Emory University.
The tool is called H1N1 swine flu response center. The online tool can be accessed by the following link: https://h1n1.cloudapp.net/fluquiz.aspx. As you enter the link you will see the home page, which describes that the tool is designed to make an informed decision. This self assessment tool is intended for residents of United States only.
After you hit start, you will be asked a series of questions, like did you have fever for 24 hrs, longer than a day, what temperature and etc?
After you have filled out the questions regarding your health, self assessment tool asks you...
if you feel comfortable with sharing your response with health officials and researchers. Self assessment tool asks you your age, gender and zip code, so I think it gives a sense to the health officials and researchers to bucket data into those categories. I personally think that this kind of statistics is useful to have.
Finally, based on the answers, H1N1 self assessment tool suggests whether you should visit or call a physician. Also, it gives link to the CDC website, wherein you can go through information about swine flu.
I am sure this is one of the many tools available online. I am regular visitor of health forums and many people are inquisitive, whether they have swine flu. I think H1N1 self assessment tool is helpful, but it should not be considered as medical advice. If you find that tool suggests you to see a doctor, call a nurse hotline number to confirm this assessment or visit a doctor.