The flu affects almost 10% of us every year and can lead to serious illness requiring missing school, work, doctor visits, or going to the hospital.
The Seattle Flu Study is a new study to understand how flu spreads in our city. We want to see how flu and other germs spread in a city. This might help us understand how to prevent the spread of flu in an outbreak.
Families who live in Seattle with one or more children in school can take part in the study from home. Here are the steps:
- Before Flu Season: Enroll online at seattleflu.org and get a test kit in the mail. (Right now, just provide your name and email address, and the study organizers will follow up.)
- During Flu Season: Get weekly flu updates on your phone or in your email and tell us if you get sick.
- If Someone Gets Sick: That person sends us one nose swab in the mail, and takes a self-test using their smartphone to see if they have the flu.
What do participating families get?
- You get to help a community science project and watch it unfold.
- If someone in your family gets sick, you will be able to take a test at home to see if they have the flu.
- Families will receive $5 gift cards for participating in our study.
Featured image: H3N2 influenza virus particles, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Each virus consists of a nucleocapsid (protein coat) that surrounds a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Surrounding the nucleocapsid is a lipid envelope that contains the glycoprotein spikes haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). These viruses were part of the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968-1969 that killed approximately one million worldwide. H3N2 viruses are able to infect birds and mammals as well as humans. They often cause more severe infections in the young and elderly than other flu strains and can lead to increases in hospitalisations and deaths.