OSDH: Flu deaths increase by 6, including first child death in Oklahoma

Grant Boone
January 17, 2020

"And even in people who get sick, it does tend to blunt the severity of illness". All Fitbit users, including those whose data are included in this study, are notified that their de-identified data could potentially be used for research in the Fitbit Privacy Policy.

If a user's weekly average resting heart rate was above their average and their weekly average sleep was not below their average, they were identified as abnormal.

A total of 12 people have died in the province so far this flu season - eight of the deaths were reported in Edmonton, while the south, Calgary, central and north zones each reported one case each.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

People at high risk of flu complications - including young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease - should seek medical care when symptoms are present.

Prisma Health doctors say it is not too late to protect yourself and encourage everyone to get the flu shot.

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"Responding more quickly to influenza outbreaks can prevent further spread and infection, and we were curious to see if sensor data could improve real-time surveillance", said Jennifer Radin, who co-led that study at the U.S. Scripps Research Translational Institute.

Passe surveillance reporting takes as much as 3 weeks, that methodology response measures - equivalent to deploying vaccines or anti-virals and advising sufferers to pause at home - can in most cases disappear.

Dr Radin and her colleagues found that by incorporating the data from Fitbits, they were able to predict outbreaks sooner.

Overall, about 47,000 users had data included. They pointed out that acute infections often raise the resting heart rate, and sleep and activity patterns differ when someone is not feeling well. This is captured by wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers which track heart rate. Overall, influenza activity is high and at its peak.

This marks the first time heart rate trackers and sleep data have been used to predict the flu or any infectious disease in real time, according to the study authors.

Radin and colleagues obtained deidentified Fitbit data from a convenience sample of users from March 2016 to March 2018.

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