Is there norovirus where you are going? There’s an app for that

The free Sickweather iOS app will provide you with real-time, geo-tagged alerts whenever you are about to enter a location in which a person has recently reported feeling ill.

“Choose from several illnesses, including Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye and Whooping Cough,” the app’s creators explain.

“Sickweather uses a patent-pending process to track and map reports of illness … Reports are represented by blue “SICK” map markers — tap norovirus-2-1them for more information of exactly when they were reported. Some viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours and can have a viral life cycle of 2 weeks, so we color-code more recent reports as RED within 1 day, ORANGE within 2 days, YELLOW within 1 week, and we include reports as old as 2 weeks in BLUE.”

How exactly does it work? By constantly scanning social networks like Twitter and Facebook for indicators of illness (such as a person using the word “sick” in a certain context) — thereby allowing you to scour the horizon for potential winter colds with roughly the same accuracy you might look for clouds as a way of predicting rain.

This entry was posted in Food Safety Policy, Norovirus and tagged , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time