Swine Flu H1N1

In watching the coverage of the Swine Flu story over the last week I must admit that I’ve been watching with somewhat of a morbid curiosity. What will happen next? How many people have died? Is this all a bunch of hype? Why didn’t they quarantine Mexico a week ago? These are all questions I’ve had and all the while I have been hovering over a user generated map of the swine flu.

Google mashups are nothing new, but the map below has really captured my attention. Lifehacker reports that the map was created by Niman, who identifies himself as a “Biomedical Research from Pittsburgh” on his/her Google profile. The map has been updated rather regularly and has been fascinating to watch over the past week.

When I first looked at the map there were the cases in Mexico and one in Southern California and one in Texas. When I checked back later there were a few more cases in California and a possible case in New Zeland. Today, the flu has spread to Europe, South America, Israel, Russia, Canada, and many parts of the United States. It’s amazing to see how a virus can travel so quickly in our interconnected world. Frequently I am surprised by how small our world is, and watching this map evolve has really reinforced the point.
View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

Pink markers are suspect
Purple markers are confirmed
Deaths lack a dot in marker
Yellow markers are negative