Following my stunted effort a few weeks ago, the professionals have got stuck in to mapping swine flu.
GeoWise’s InstantAtlas software is used to do this sort of thing by various governments, local authorities and primary care trusts, among others.
The company has demonstrated its capabilities by mapping several weeks of the GP consultation data from the HPA/Nottingham University. The result is very pretty and you can see current hotspots and how rates in each PCT area have changed each week.
The issue of accurately telling how many people have swine flu was complicated further by the establishment of the national pandemic flu (internet and phone) service.
A smaller proportion of patients are now presenting at surgeries, but how much smaller? And how many are calling the service but still going to their GP? The confusion prompted some ire on the part of journalists trying to keep track.
The HPA has since published something explaining how it estimates new cases in each week and, a couple of weeks ago, started putting out minimum and maximum figures as well as the most probable.