Tracking the flu, new CDC Influenza App

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Now everyone has the capability of knowing the latest flu information pertinent to your area and it's all at the touch of your fingertips.

It's 21st Century flu surveillance with The Centers for Disease Control's Influenza Mobile Application. The App allows you to see where the flu is in your area and offers tips on how to stop the spread of infection.

The warnings have already begun, the flu season is on the horizon. Rene Landry is in charge of Disease Surveillance and Response for The Mesa County Health Department and it's her job to track flu activity.

"We do surveillance here locally with St. Mary's and Community Hospital on a weekly basis and that tracks influenza like illness," said Landry.

Now thanks to the CDC new Influenza App, everyone and anyone can track the flu with the touch of a button. However, knowing that the flu is on the rise in your area may not keep you from catching it, but the app offers some tips on how to prevent the spread of germs, much like the advice Landry has to offer.

"Good hand washing after touching surfaces, if you can't use soap and water which is the best then hand sanitizer also works really well," said Landry.

Even kids can get in on the medical app craze too. 'Ella's Handwashing Adventure" is a new interactive app that teaches children how to wash their hands correctly. Which, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is the single most important thing that parents can do to prevent illnesses.

And to prevent the flu, health experts recommend a flu shot before the full on flu season strikes the Western Slope.

"Flu season historically hits here in Mesa County and on the Western Slope of Colorado right after the holidays so starting after Thanksgiving we start to see a little increase, and then after Christmas we see a much steeper increase in illness," said Landry.

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