Help us track the flu!

News article

02 May 2019

The Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, encourages all Kiwis to join FluTracking, an innovative and simple online initiative that’s helping monitor flu activity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

‘FluTracking is so useful because it shows how prevalent flu-like symptoms are in individual areas. We’re able to use this data to make sure resources, such as flu vaccinations, are where they’re needed most.

‘Becoming a FluTracker’s easy. Just head to flutracking.net and register your details, then fill-out the short questionnaire emailed each week.

‘Responding takes less than 10 seconds. All you need to do is select whether you’ve had a cough or fever during the past week. You’ll be asked a few additional questions if you indicated you have had flu symptoms,’ Dr McElnay says.

The information FluTracking gathers is confidential and identifiable data isn’t shared.

‘FluTracking is an important source of information for academics, clinicians, and policy developers, with comprehensive and anonymised data published on the FluTracking website. There’s also an interactive map that can be accessed by anyone,’ Dr McElnay adds.

Whether you’ve had your flu vaccination or not, you can become a FluTracker at any time – every ‘bit’ of data helps. However, getting immunised is by far the best thing you can do to stay protected from flu.

‘Flu is a seasonal disease we need to take seriously. The vaccine is free for people aged 65 years and over, as well as pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions, such as severe asthma,’ says Dr McElnay.

This is the second year Kiwis have been able to join FluTracking, brought to Aotearoa New Zealand by the Ministry of Health. To date, more than 700 people have signed on as FluTrackers during the 2019 campaign’s first week, joining the 6,000 participants who registered in 2018.

More ‘FluTrackers’ means higher quality data, so join FluTracking today!

Read more about influenza.