Swine flu: not so bad for CDC.gov

May 15, 2009

Too bad the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t charge for its information or make money off its website — they could have made a pile of cash on the swine flu scare. (You know, if it wasn’t a government site.)

Web traffic measurement firm comScore says traffic soared at CDC.gov last month, as people visited the website amid concerns over the H1N1, or swine, flu.

In April, CDC.gov saw a 142 percent increase in traffic, or 5.7 million visitors, making it the top audience gainer among websites, comScore said. “When news of the swine flu pandemic erupted, many Americans turned to the Internet as their primary source of information for how to keep themselves and their families safe,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president at comScore Media Metrix.

Social networks also continued their tear last month, growing 12 percent to nearly 140 million visitors. That’s about three-quarters of the U.S. online population, comScore says, so chances are someone you know is either is Twittering, Facebook-ing or on MySpace. Twitter jumped 83 percent to 17 million visitors, while Facebook grew 10 percent in April from the previous month to reach 67.5 million visitors. MySpace had 71 million visitors.

Keep an eye on:

Photo: Reuters


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To be honest, I only go to cdc.gov for swine flu reports. I check daily at around 11:30 EST for an update daily, really well put toghether and im glad they are getting all of this attention.

Posted by misterniceguy | Report as abusive

Maybe I am missing why this is so scary, other than the media hype. On average 36,000 people in the US die from the flu or complications related to it. On average 73 people in the US die each year from lightning strikes. Four people in the US have died from the swine flu, and all of those four had another illness at the same time. Until there is a media scare for people to watch out for lightning strikes, or the number of deaths from the swine flu exceed that of lightning strikes, can someone explain to me why the entire nation seems to be scared about this ?

Posted by truth4all | Report as abusive

I also believe this media hype is a little too much, but you can’t blame people for being cautious after Sars. What makes swineflu scary is the fact that its believed to spread from animal to human and that it mostly affects young people.

Posted by Nikkei 225 | Report as abusive

Too many people have a very short term window on the H1N1 virus. People either ignored or have forgotten that just a few short weeks ago Mexico was in the grips of new influenza virus that was hospitalizing young adults. The various health organizations around the world ramped up to respond to a virus that appeared to be serious, Everyone needs to remember that at this point medical science knew next to nothing about the virus. Imagine trying to respond to a virus threat when you don’t know how easily or quickly it spreads, you don;t know how it spreads, you don’t how deadly it is and you don’t know if it can be treated with anything and it seems to cause severe illness. The WHO and others would have been criminally negligent if they did not alert the world to a possible serious threat.

H1N1 for now has not been too serious outside of Mexico. This is a blessing. It provided a kick in the pants for a planet that was only partly prepared for a serious flu pandemic. Nay sayers should remember that medical science can still not explain with certainty why the Mexican cases were so severe compared to elsewhere. The other thing to remember is the ability of the flu to mutate. As the virus travels the southern hemisphere this summer it is entirely possible for it change to cause more severe illness. If it does not and we prepare for a threat that does not come we can be grateful we dodged the bullet this time. If we don’t prepare and it comes back like gangbusters a lot of needless illness will occur. I know which path I want the WHO and others to take. Perpare, prepare, prepare.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive