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Some information sources on the H1N1 Flu

The Influenza A H1N1, commonly known as "the swine flu," has been all over the news in recent weeks. We would like to take a moment to give our readers some links to good sources of information so they can have some facts separated from the hype.
  • MedlinePlus is always a good place to start online when looking for medical information. "MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations" (from the site's About page). The NLM is the National Library of Medicine. Personally, MedlinePlus is a site I recommend to anyone looking for medical information. You can get some medical journal articles, good overview entries on a variety of topics, and even drug and medicine information. MedlinePlus has a page dedicated to the H1N1 here.
  • By the way, the National Library of Medicine's Specialized Information Service has some information too on H1N1 here. This page has many links indicating the federal response as well as international response and information.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has a page of information on the H1N1 here. The FDA's page includes warnings against fraudulent treatments. It is very easy for the less than scrupulous to take advantage, so be informed.
  • The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) have some information on H1N1 here. They include a map where cases in the U.S. have been found and other resources updated regularly. There are also instructions on how to protect yourself and other precautions here.
  • In addition, you can get some free access to H1N1 information from Dynamed, an EBSCO database product. They are providing free access to a summary of information here. More about Dynamed: "DynaMed is a point-of-care reference resource designed to provide clinicians with the best available evidence to support clinical decision-making. DynaMed is part of the suite of medical products owned and provided by EBSCO Publishing and is updated daily by monitoring medical literature sources."
  • In terms of international coverage, the source to go is the World Health Organization (WHO). You can find their page on the H1N1 here. A little more about the WHO: "WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends."
  • Locally, the Texas Department of State and Health Services has a page on the H1N1.  They have a very easy to read section on what to do if you do get sick and are staying home. It is called "How to stay home safely."
Many of these sites feature options for RSS feeds as well as tracking via online tools like Twitter. Just look for the appropriate links on the sites. If you already use a feed reader like Google Reader or Bloglines, you can add updated information to your accounts from these agencies. If you would like to learn more about RSS, you can find a nice introduction here (from the How Stuff Works website). Also, many of the sites provide the information in English and in Spanish. You can also stop by the library, call us, or e-mail with your questions. However, do remember that your friendly librarian cannot take the place of your professional medical practitioner. We can provide information, but we do not diagnose or dispense medical advice.  If you are feeling symptoms, do take necessary steps including a visit to your physician or local clinic.
Published by root on 07 May

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