The ‘Sickness’ Behind Social Networks Exposed

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is a full-blown epidemic in Maryland and 46 other states today.

With the number of new flu cases dramatically exceeding what is observed during a normal flu season, it seems today that everyone is either suffering from the flu or avoiding those with the illness.

As a result of the epidemic, social networks have been lit up by talk of the flu bug. And a new report is diagnosing our favorite social networks to complain on when fevers, aches, and pains arrive.

During the last six weeks, nearly 630,000 mentions of “flu” have been recorded on Twitter and Facebook. Sentiment analysis firm Crimson Hexagon says that 40% of these social media postings have involved the phrase “I have the flu.”

Crimson Hexagon finds that Twitter is the service we rely most heavily upon to discuss our bouts with bugs.

Although controversy remains about the ability of social networks to predict global outbreaks and other regional health-related epidemics, one thing is for certain: when we’re sick, we love to let people know about it.

So… have you made a social media posting about your battle to beat or avoid the flu this winter?

As always, be sure to check out mHealthWatch for all the latest mobile health related news and headlines.

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