If you find yourself sitting in a pile of puke, please don’t rush to clean it up. The British government is asking those sickened by a common norovirus to describe the color and texture of the puke and post it on Twitter for the world to see.
The government’s Food Standards Agency is hoping the oversharers on social media will help it track the violent stomach bug that causes major party fouls like puking and diarrhea.
Last year, they tracked the spread of the virus using key words (i.e. #barf, #flu and “chuck up” because British) and found that the more people were getting sick with it, the more people would talk about it on Twitter. They’re going to pay closer attention to people’s tweets this year.
Since everyone is totally overdramatic on Twitter, the FSA warns that the data can be skewed since people tend to self-diagnose themselves or overstate their symptoms. However, they hope the earlier they get people to talk about their illnesses, the earlier people will start treatment and stop the spread.
James Baker, the FSA’s social media manager who has to read all of these disgusting tweets, talked to the Guardian:
“There’s the potential for us to identify outbreaks of norovirus much earlier than before, giving us the opportunity to proactively share our advice and guidance with those who might be affected, alert other government departments and industry, and perhaps even help to reduce its spread,” said Mr. Baker.
We only imagine the type of perks Klout will offer when they hear of this.