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« The Writer's Almanac: Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Main | Annular Solar Eclipse of 2005 October 03 »

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Ten Thousand Year Blog: Blog Archive: The Flu Wiki

The Ten Thousand Year Blog: Blog Archive: The Flu Wiki.

The Flu Wiki

For those wishing to contribute their expertise to knowledge of human and animal flus in preparation for the forecast pandemic flu a la the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, there’s now a Flu Wiki. The organizers have declared October 3 to 9, 2005 as Pandemic Flu Awareness Week. None of the organizers at the time of this posting have much information about themselves or their own expertise. While the site’s purpose is more as an information service for preparedness, an open wiki from a non-health or science agency is the very last kind of Web site anyone should use as a expert source for health or scientific information. [DrWeb emphasis] I know I would feel better if this site were affiliated or endorsed by a public health agency or two. The site runs on the PmWiki software.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2005 at 09:21 and is filed under Collaborative Web, Searcher Magazine Threads, Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Read and follow the comments.. you will see, this effort is misguided, and misleading.. we don't need amateur medical wikis, do we? There are good government and authentic sites with medical expertise behind them.. another cautionary tale, caveat emptor...

[Comment on Comment 1] Updating this note to reference the comment 1 below.. that was not a site review; I haven't tried to review your site, there's no need to.. amateur medical information is not something I can condone, nor try and fathom as a helping hand.. if you wish to do a grassroots effort, perhaps getting government sites, CDC, or WHO, or whomever in authority, to do better work, improve their sites, and become more helpful.. local or state government plans or discussions? encourage them at those levels.. I think there are useful wiki projects; an encyclopedia or a medical information Web site isn't in that list, IMHO.. I believe David's original note captures the essence of my argument, brief though it is: an open wiki for medical information of this nature and aim, is not something I could put any faith in...

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For those wishing to contribute their expertise to knowledge of human and animal flus in preparation for the forecast pandemic flu a la the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, theres now a Flu Wiki. The organizers have declared October 3 to 9, 2005 a... [Read More]

Comments

Thanks for the review. As noted at The Ten Thousand Year Blog, if you really delve into this issue at sites like the CDC, you'll find great information there. You'll also find much missing.

There's no town or local pandemic plans. The state plans are unevenly put together, some not in existence at all, and even the national plan, due months ago, is not ready.

If you were, let's say, in charge of a 1000 bed community hospital's pandemic plan and surge plan, could you go to the CDC site and learn what your community needs to do?

Other countries have done much more planing than the US has. In fact, places like King County, WA have started to do the work of discussing pandemic planning, in a reasoned fashion, with businesses as an example. No such discussion exists at the CDC site. What should businesses do if 20% of the work force calls in sick? Whould just-in-time delivery systems work? What about public safety areas like police, fire etc... is planning for that at the CDC site?

Some of the contributors to Flu wiki are amateurs, but some are health professionals, public health physicians, academics and risk comunication experts. Not all wish to be identified as such.

Please note the Flu Wiki does not claim to replace in any way the CDC and other authoritative sources (many like the CDC are frequently linked), but neither can the CDC expect to have a monopoly on all information regarding pandemic flu. There are, for example links to WHO, CIDRAP, the UK and Canadian health departemnts, etc.

To dismiss this as simply an amateur attempt overlooks the multiple professional/authoritative/official links provided by Flu Wiki.

Again, as the CDC and other sites begin to be more robust (as is happening), we all benefit. But we benefit from the Canadian and European perspectives as well.

Cheers, and thanks for the revue. Caveat emptor. Let's fervently hope none of this is necessary.

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