Seattle firm tracks swine flu

A company based in the Seattle area is using its own disease-tracking software to provide updates on the swine influenza outbreak that is originating in Mexico to state and local health agencies in the United States.

Veratect Corp. of Kirkland, Wash., said its disease-tracking software collects data from more than 40,000 original sources globally. It is providing regular updates on the spread of swine flu to public health officials and also, through Twitter, to the public.

The Veratect tracking service began tracking unusual respiratory illness activity in Mexico on March 30, the company said in a news release dated April 26. The company claims it is one of the first private companies to sound the alert on the spread of swine flu.

Veratect said it notified officials in Nevada and Colorado of the infection and has made the information available to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Veratect provided "the very first alerts I received regarding this swine flu epidemic, as well as the most detailed, accurate, timely and comprehensive" alerts, Ihsan Azzam, the state epidemiologist of Nevada, was quoted in the company’s news release.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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