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Government website adds H1N1 flu self-evaluation

October 8, 2009 |  6:06 pm

H1n1 Even the government, it seems, is getting in on do-it-yourself healthcare.

Perhaps inspired by the popularity of websites like WebMD, the government-run Flu.gov has added a new feature called H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation.

People concerned about a friend, relative or their own well-being can use the resource to help determine an illness' potential seriousness.

Just in time for the H1N1 flu nasal spray vaccine.

Rather than fuel hypochondriacs' anxiety, the program asks users a series of questions. Based on how users answer the questions, the system may calmly recommend they seek professional help. (Click "continue reading" below to see an example of what a sick person might encounter at the end of the test.)

The service, not surprisingly, promotes professional healthcare. Which is good when you consider the other, more popular option is to perform a Google search for your symptoms — or, worse, for the illness you think you have, and then trick yourself into thinking you have it.

And then there's our other favorite H1N1 diagnosis resource: Do I Have Swine Flu?

-- Mark Milian

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Photo credit: European Pressphoto Agency

People who answer like you did might be very sick. They should:

  • Call their doctor now.
  • Tell their doctor they might be very sick.
  • Ask if they need to be seen right now.
  • If they need to be seen right now, ask their doctor where to go (doctor's office, walk-in clinic or the emergency room).
  • When they see the doctor, ask if they need medicine for the flu.
Those who can't reach their doctor should go to the emergency room or walk-in (or urgent care) clinic right away.

Those who think they have an emergency should call 9-1-1.
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