App: Lubbock has 2nd largest incidence of flu in U.S. metro cities

LUBBOCK, Texas (KLBK/KAMC) - Lubbock is encountering the second-highest influenza incidence across the nation, just behind Austin, Texas, according to the app Sickweather.

"There is a higher incidence in the country right now based on the influenza reports that we are getting from that area, based on the population from that area," said Dave Switzer, director of media relations for Sickweather. 

Sickweather is the "world's first real-time map of sickness and the largest crowd-sourcing community of its kind," the company said. It tracks and predicts accurate sickness forecasts, including influenza. 

Once they are tracked, users can open the app to see where the sickness is lingering: from a map of the whole city, down to the street where the sick person is, they said. 

"If you have people saying, 'I've got a lot of flu cases in a certain area' or if you look at the map, you can see them targeted in very geocentric areas across the state," said Switzer.

The app bases its ranking off a social media algorithm pulling from millions of sources every day to detect where people are reporting sick. In addition, app users post their own illnesses on the app increasing the accuracy of the prediction, they said.

It provides cities with a "sick score," which is a combination complete with what is going on in that area and information based on different parts of the algorithm that they look at, said Switzer.

"It kind of gives you a general score for how sick an area might be," said Switzer.

When compared to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sickweather is 90 percent accurate in predicting illnesses across the nation, said Switzer. It can even track across the world. 

The app also allows users to track health by updating thermometer readings from the top three digital thermometers available, said Switzer. 

"There's a call-a-doctor feature. There's a cost to that, but it does provide access to a direct doctor to get a diagnosis," he said.

"The great part about Sickweather is it's real time and it's more about people reporting what conditions are at the time. If there are larger incidences happening, then people can at least be aware of what's going on around them," said Switzer. "It helps you make more informed decisions."


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