Blog Digest

13 Aug 2009

Following a suspected outbreak of swine flu (H1N1) in the Donegal Gaeltacht last week, which resulted in 14 students being sent home after five had exhibited symptoms, Ireland is beginning to think seriously about the pandemic.

Many people are not quite sure what the symptoms are and what exactly H1N1 is, so it is worthwhile checking out some reliable blogs on the matter.

Irish Health blogs

You have to register for this site, but benefits include being able to keep your own health blog while discussing and reading topics with other Irish people concerned about matters of health.

One particularly interesting post entitled ‘swine flu – a new wall of silence’, questions the transparency of the Department of Health in providing the public with full information on diagnosed cases of swine flu.

Bad Science

There are certainly plenty of ‘quacks’ out there with no real medical qualifications who might misdiagnose or mistreat an ailment or illness, and certainly there are those in the media who hype up or miscommunicate topical health issues like swine flu.

Dr Ben Goldacre is dedicated to cutting through all the nonsense and taking a sobering look at the real facts. And he does this with panache and a great sense of humour besides.

Well worth bookmarking for regular visits. You can impress your friends with your insider knowledge of debunked science.

World Health Organisation

Although not technically a blog, the World Health Organisation’s website is a must-visit for those looking for global news updates on the H1N1 pandemic.

This site is also a dedicated hub of information on frequently asked questions about swine flu, including questions about the use of antiviral drugs.

An important link on this site is a downloadable PDF file on international health regulations, useful if you are considering travelling to a place with recorded swine flu cases.

VHI on swine flu

Again, this is not strictly a blog, but the essential facts explaining the H1N1 virus, what the symptoms are and how it is spread are a must-read if you are not up to speed already.

There are links to related topics, including an interesting website from the US Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, with ‘widgets’ or social media that you can embed in your own website asking people to wash their hands as well as links to podcasts and a Twitter feed on their H1N1 coverage.