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App Helps Track Flu & Colds

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    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - With summer winding down cold and flu season will be here before you know it.

    All it takes is for one person in the family to get sick and before you know it some or all of the family has it too.

    Those germs usually come from the office or the kids school.

    Apps like Sickweather allow us to monitor what illnesses are going around in our community.

    Think of it as a doppler radar for sickness.

    It uses social media to collect information on who has what, and where.

    The Linn County Health Department warns that flu season isnít too far off.

    There are ways to protect your family.

    A number of health care providers and pharmacies are already stocked up with this yearís flu vaccine and theyíre ready to start giving shots.

    While the flu season usually goes from October through March, now is the time to get the whole family vaccinated.

    ďPrevention is the best thing we can do so we can prevent the flu from coming into our house, Keep kids healthy in school. So get the flu shot now before it becomes an issue,Ē said Heather Meador of the Linn County Health Department.

    Meador said apps like Sickweather are a good way to know what illnesses are going around in your community.

    She said when thereís a lot of sickness in the area, itís a good reminder to be extra vigilant with the 3 Cís: clean your hands often; contain your sickness -- in other words stay home if you donít feel well; and cover your cough and sneezes with the inside of your arm, not your hand so as not to spread the germs.