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Your resource for tracking the swine flu

If you're worried about the swine flu and you want to be able to track its progress, there's lots of good information at these Web sites..

H1N1 influenza, better known as the swine flu, is guaranteed to make an impact across the U.S. and the rest of the world in the coming months. But knowing what to expect, and how to determine if H1N1 is impacting where you live, should be the first step in your evaluation of the swine flu.

And that's where this roundup comes in. Listed below, you will find several resources that will help you not only track the swine flu, but probably help you learn a little something about it as well.

Find out about that swine flu

Centers for Disease Control -- The Centers for Disease Control has some of the best information on the swine flu of any site in this roundup. Everything from its causes to its symptoms are available.

Information on the swine flu from the CDC is the best I've seen on the Web. The site offers basic information for those who want an overview. It quickly digs deep into treating family members afflicted with swine flu, why a vaccination might be useful, who the flu is most likely to affect, and more. It also produces videos and podcasts. Overall, I liked the CDC's presentation on the swine flu. It's extremely informative.

The Centers for Disease Control is a great resource. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

FluTracker -- Rhiza Lab's FluTracker app is one of the best ways to track the swine flu on the Web.

When you get to the site, you'll see several colored circles around a map of the world. The color of each circle denotes the severity of the outbreak in a given location. Inside those circles are numbers, giving you a tally of confirmed outbreaks in a particular country. Perhaps most importantly, the site allows you to zoom in to see how many outbreaks have affected your area. You can even see how many deaths have occurred. If you're looking for in-depth but easily understandable tracking of the swine flu, FluTracker is your best bet.

FluTracker tells you where the swine flu is. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

GeoCommons Swine Flu Tracker -- Unlike FluTracker, which provides in-depth information on what kind of impact the swine flu is having all over the world, GeoCommons Swine Flu Tracker doesn't quite fit the bill.

I found that the GeoCommons tracker is really only useful if you want to see where H1N1 has hit the world. It shows that information on a Google Maps integration that you can move around, zoom in on, and more. The design of the map is nice, but it needs more information to be as useful as some other services in this roundup.

GeoCommons is a little more basic than other services. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

HealthMap -- HealthMap is one of the most useful apps in this roundup. Not only does it let you track the swine flu, but it also allows you to see where outbreaks of other pandemics are impacting the globe.

When you get to HealthMap, you'll see several different illnesses listed next to the map. At first, the site displays all the sicknesses all over the world. You have the option of choosing to track any number of issues as you go. The site even lets you choose where it gets the incident reports from so you can be sure that only trusted sources are used. I like HealthMap. Try it out.

HealthMap tells you what's happening around the world. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

H1N1 Response Center -- Microsoft's H1N1 Response Center allows visitors to take a swine flu assessment to help them determine whether they have H1N1.

When you get to the site, you'll need to input some basic information, such as your symptoms, your age, and your location. From there, the site asks you if it can share your answers with health officials to help them do a better job of tracking the swine flu. It then provides you with an assessment of whether you have the swine flu. The site also features some basic information on the swine flu to educate you on its impact.

Microsoft's H1N1 Response Center helps you determine if you have the swine flu. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Swine Flu Tracker -- Another useful tracking tool to use Google Maps, Swine Flu Tracker displays all reported incidents of possible swine flu from confirmed cases to false alarms.

Overall, Swine Flu Tracker is very basic. It features a Google Map with different markers denoting what kind of impact is affecting different areas. You won't find stats like you will in FluTracker. Unfortunately, all the site lists are the numbers of confirmed cases of swine flu in different states around the U.S. Other than that, you're on your own.

Swine Flu Tracker
Swine Flu Tracker tells you where the outbreaks are. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

World Health Organization -- The World Health Organization provides some of the most informative data on the swine flu of any site in this roundup.

The WHO's swine flu page is extremely informative. One of the most useful features on the site is its status-update page. That features the latest information on the spreading of the swine flu around the world. You can also find data on the swine flu's impact. Everything from basic information to treatment is on the site.

Swine flu
The WHO has some great information on swine flu. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. FluTracker: If you want to find where the swine flu is going, FluTracker is for you.

2. HealthMap: It covers everything from the swine flu to basic influenza.

3. Centers for Disease Control: Since many of these services rely on the CDC to get information, why not use the site yourself?