I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sickweather. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Seattle Respiratory Illness Forecast via Sickweather - #Sponsored #Sickweather #MC

I was at my doctor’s office the other day for a check-up and I asked near the end of the appointment about getting a flu shot. To my surprise, she said that no, they were out and didn’t know when they’d be able to get additional doses. I was surprised! I guess my ban on watching TV news means I’m missing out on important information like the fact the the flu is widespread this year.

I guess when I was asked to check out an app called Sickweather I should have made it a priority. That’s because it’s a free app that would have let me know what was going on. In fact, it can keep me up-to-date on the flu and more. With the aid of my smartphone’s GPS, it can give me the top trending illnesses in my area. But how does it know who’s sick and where they are? It uses the power of social media to target keywords, plus users can add anonymous data about their own illnesses as well.

So what can you do with this information? Well first, don’t panic. Using typical germ precautions like washing your hands and covering your mouth when coughing can help prevent you from contracting or spreading germs; however, being reminded that others are ill may help reinforce those healthy habits.  The Sickweather Sick Zone alerts can be helpful for anyone who needs to avoid particular diseases, like someone with a compromised immune system may want to know where a Chicken Pox outbreak is happening so it can be avoided. It can also be helpful when one of the kids is complaining of not feeling well. In the past we’d simply call other parents of kids in his/her class to see if something was going around. Granted this was at 7am and not the best time to be making calls. Today’s parents can check the app and see if there’s a virus reported in the area.

Setting Sickweather Alerts 0 #Sponsored #Sickweather #MC

The Forecast feature can help identify illnesses that are making their way across the country. It’s very common for us to read about outbreaks in more populated areas of the east coast before they make their way out here to the west. Sickweather also has a share feature where they ask you ‘Share the app, not the germs!’ This also helps create more accurate results in your area if they’re neighbors and friends. All information is reported anonymously but your own reports are tracked in your history so you can keep track of what days your kids had the sniffles or stomach upset.

Today's Respiratory Illness Forecase via Sickweather - #Sponsored #Sickweather #MC

Is Sickweather accurate? Probably about as accurate as those 7am phone calls we made. It depends on who’s reporting and how accurately they are, but it’s better than going in blind. Plus as more people discover the app, it could become a valuable resource. Say your school adopts it and adds info, or the parents of your community group do. That’s more data for it to work from which increases its usefulness.

Find out more and get the free app on the Sickweather website.  Also check out this ‘Today Show’ segment which featured the Sickweather app: http://www.today.com/video/today/56329883. Then connect with them on Facebook and Twitter for new releases and updates.

How would you use Sickweather in your home?