Welcome to HotSpots, a new feature of Clinical Correlations. In this series, we intend to highlight unique websites of interest to the medical profession. Feel free to make suggestions for sites that should be featured in this series by clicking the comment field or sending us an email.
Commentary by Shrujal Baxi MD, NYU Chief Resident
If you don’t know what the Chikungunya virus is or you want to know where the Plague is killing people in the world today, then this website is for you. Created by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, the healthmap provides a glimpse into the outbreaks affecting humans, animals, and plants worldwide. It is for Infectious Disease enthusiasts, supports for public health, and generally curious people of the world.
By running your mouse over different colored markers on the map, a visitor to the site is able to identify where and when infectious diseases are spreading. By clicking on the marker, you can read a quick blurb that provides more detail into the reported cases. This map is not intended for the endemic diseases memorized in medical school but specializes in highlighting the seasonal changes, regional spread and “hot points” of infectious outbreaks. So next time you have a patient present with fever, malaise, diarrhea and you want to just call it a stomach flu, make sure to check out this map and ensure your differential is not missing a rapidly spreading avian virus or a food borne illness infecting your area.