Skip to main content

i-sense Flusurvey

Home > Videos > I Sense Flusurvey

i-sense teamed up with Flusurvey, the UK’s biggest crowd-sourced study of influenza, a major round of funding for an exciting new project to help monitor the spread of flu in the UK more accurately and earlier than ever before. Flusurvey scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) monitor flu across the UK by analysing weekly information relating to symptoms, provided in an online questionnaire by volunteers at flu survey.org.uk. Together with i-sense, Flusurvey will, for the first time, be able to verify this data by offering some of their participants a swab to confirm if their symptoms are caused by a flu virus or not. The easy to use, self-tests can be done at home- a small swab sample taken from the nose is analysed on a test that works in a similar way to a pregnancy test and the results are shown within minutes. Participants can submit their results by taking a picture on their mobile phone and emailing them as well as posting the test to a PHE laboratory for verification. This instructional video demonstrates how participants use these tests to help us track flu. Together with scientists from Public Health England (PHE) and UCL, the results of these swabs will be analysed and combined with data from the millions of symptoms reported every day via web searches and social media platforms such as Twitter, providing geographically-linked information and supporting a more accurate picture of influenza-like illnesses in the UK. Complaints of coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms are a common feature of life at this time of year but not all sniffles are a sign of flu. Verifying cases of a virus (through laboratory testing and self-tests) is a crucial part of efforts to spot a pandemic flu outbreak with the potential to cause serious illness and death, and Flusurvey data feeds into national surveillance programmes.