A few years ago my daughter came down with roseola right after her first birthday. Of course, we didn’t know it was roseola initially, and since she previously had a uti, my first instinct was that her high fever with no other symptoms would indicate a repeat uti. Her doctor wasn’t in his office, so his associate, who had never met my daughter before, very simply said my daughter had roseola, without doing any further testing. I was a new mom, untrusting, and not believing. After all, my daughter was prone to febrile seizures and the quicker we treated this uti, the less chance we had of repeating the drama that followed her first bout with this infection. My mama bear instinct kicked in and I demanded more tests, which the doctor gave in and reluctantly performed.
While we waited, the on-call doctor explained that in our area, there has been an increase of roseola cases. Being that we took our first park trip just days before, we most likely picked up the virus from there. I still wasn’t having it… Until that textbook rash appeared, screaming out “this is roseola after all!” In the meantime, we still didn’t have her urine results back when the rash appeared.
Moral of the story- look around you. If it looks like a certain illness, acts like a certain illness, and this illness is “going around,” chances are, that’s the illness you are looking at. Doctors are equipped with records of patients and their locations, so it is easy for them to recognize symptoms of an illness going around better than you and me can. Until now. With the Sickweather app on my iPhone, I can easily see what’s going around in my neighborhood. Once I started up the app and watched the pins of sick people flood my screen, I knew I was in NYC. In such a crowded city, viruses spread rapidly and infect dozens at a time. When I moved my map to the more suburban areas in NY, the illnesses were few and far between.
My favorite feature of the app is that I can choose what types of illnesses I’m looking for. From childhood illnesses to common colds and flu, stomach viruses to allergies, I can pick and choose. This isn’t meant to be a diagnostic app, but rather give people a general idea of what they are looking at when their child comes to them with a fever. With only 48 hours to get your hands on Tamiflu in order for it to be the most effective, you have a small window to get yourself or your child tested if flu symptoms are present. It’s much easier when you know if there is a flu outbreak in your area to recognize those symptoms. The Sickweather app was even featured on the Today Show! Check it out!