Glasgow 2014: Illness monitored during Commonwealth Games

Public health experts are to use social media to alert them to outbreaks of illness during the Commonwealth Games.

Health Protection Scotland analysts will monitor sites like Twitter to see whether symptoms of illnesses such as flu, fever or norovirus, are discussed.

By accessing the settings of the phone, tablet or computer which sent the tweets, they will be able to tell the general geographic areas from which the messages have been sent.

They can then alert them to an outbreak of illness among fellow supporters.

Doctors can then make sure the health service is ready to respond and prevent any outbreak of illness from spreading.

'Surveillance systems'

Dr Jim McMenamin, surveillance lead for the Commonwealth Games Response at Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said: "HPS has a range of highly effective systems in place to monitor and respond to disease outbreaks in Scotland.

"These systems gather and examine information from GP consultations, NHS 24, laboratories, NHS Boards and other sources allowing us to detect certain infections and other hazards to Scotland's health.

"The Games will provide a long-lasting legacy for HPS as it has enabled the further development of our already well established surveillance systems.

"HPS is working with the Scottish government, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organising committee and health protection colleagues in NHS Boards, and beyond, to deliver enhanced surveillance during the Commonwealth Games period."

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