The UK's National Flu Pandemic Service website launched on Thursday, and crashed due to its popularity. The site was soon up again, however, and at the time of this writing appears to be running smoothly.
However, on launch day, the UK's National Flu Pandemic Service websit was getting 2,600 hits per second, or 9.3 million hits per hour, at around 5 PM. It just goes to show how the general public feels about the swine flu: still worried.
The UK, like the US, has ratcheted up their warning level for the future flu season, stating the following numbers: 65,000 deaths in "the worst scenario," "100,000 new cases in a week" and even "cases could reach 100,000 a day by late August."
The aim of the UK's National Flu Pandemic Service website is to help "patients" self-diagnose themselves. In other words, if you suspect you have the H1N1 swine flu, you can go to the site and it will lead you through determining if you have the swine flu, or at least if you are likely to have it.
In order to use the UK's National Flu Pandemic Service website, you need to be a resident of the UK (duh), but you also need to know the following information about the patient:
* Their date of birth
* Their current symptoms
* Their history of any serious medical conditions
* Their home address including postcode
Realistically, however, much of the panic about swine flu has been unfounded, and the majority of deaths outside Mexico appear to have some other component attached, some other medical condition. Still, people worldwide await a vaccine with bated breath.