Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lack of useful Swine Influenza Information online from Australian Government

Senator Lundy posted an item to her new web site on 29 April, pointing out that the Department of Health and Ageing (DHA) established a website to provide information on Swine Influenza. That got me thinking about what information was available for the public. I was unable to find any clear and coordinated information for the public from Australian Governments. Instead there are an assortment of web reference to detailed information to officials and cross references which will lead the reader around in circles.

The DHA appears to be for medical practitioners, not the general public. It refers people to DHA's "Health Emergency" web page. This has a paragraph about swine flu and then a link to "Swine Influenza Outbreaks", which contains the equivalent of five pages of text and then links to detailed documents about the number of cases reported so far. All this material appears to be intended for officials, not the public:

National tally of people being tested for Swine Influenza as at 6 am,
30th April 2009


Table 1: Current Australian Cases Under Investigation
0600 AEST 30/04/2009
JurisdictionsSuspect CasesProbableConfirmed

Source: CDNA

From: Swine Influenza Update Bulletin,Department of Health and Ageing, 6am, 30 April 2009
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a Swine influenza - Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR) but this is intended for national public health officials. The Australian Capital Territory Department of Health has a Swine Influenza page, but this refers to the DHA and WHO pages.

healthdirect Australia, a joint initiative of the Australian, ACT, NSW, NT, Tasmania, SA and WA governments has a "health alert" on its home page, but this just links to DHA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)has videos on YouTube, showing the correct way to wear a face mask.

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