An online system that helps to track flu in your area and across New Zealand.
What is Flu Tracker?
Flu Tracker is an online system designed to track flu-like symptoms across the country. It consists of simple questions to find out if you have had a fever or cough in the past week. The survey takes just 10–15 seconds to answer and is sent via email each week during the usual flu season (May to October). Each week after participant surveys are completed, the data is collated into a report.
Read more about Flu Tracker
What is the purpose of Flu Tracker?
The aim of Flu Tracker is to collect information about flu-like illnesses at community level over time. Consistent tracking of the flu across all areas and over time enables year-to-year comparison of the timing, attack rates and seriousness of influenza in the community. This enables identification of influenza trends and hotspots around the country and better early warning of potential outbreaks.
This information also helps researchers to determine the onset of flu by region, the effectiveness of the vaccine in New Zealand and the severity of the flu season. This then informs planning ahead of future flu seasons.
What will I need to do?
After registering as a volunteer Flu Tracker, you’ll receive a weekly email during the traditional flu season (April/May to October). The email contains a link to an online survey form. On the first visit you’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- month and year of birth
- whether you had the flu vaccine in the preceding year
- postcode of residence
- whether you are a health provider who has had face-to face contact with patients (for participants 15 years or older)
- highest level of education (for participants 15 years or older).
On subsequent weekly visits to the form, you’ll be asked about the presence of typical flu-like symptoms like fever and cough. If you answer ‘yes’ to both fever and cough, you’ll get these follow-up questions.
In 2020, the form also includes a question as to whether you have had a swab test for COVID-19. This information is used to help track potential community spread of the coronavirus.