TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Apps for news, health advice

Stick to reputable accounts for alerts, for example

Stick to reputable accounts for alerts, for example @CDCgov, @NIH, @WHO, @NYSDOH and @U.S.FDA. Credit: Newsday/Twitter

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, these four apps can keep you updated with trustworthy news and reliable health advice.

First Aid

(iOS, Android; free)

With hospitals filling up, you may find it useful – and perhaps life-saving – to be able to handle health problems before they become health emergencies. This excellent app from the American Red Cross covers an array of life-threatening and non-life-threatening situations with treatments you can do at home that could buy you time before you can get help. The app has recently been updated with coronavirus safety and readiness tips.

CDC

(iOS, Android; free)

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coordinating the U.S. medical response to coronavirus, and its app is a good place to get general news about the spread of the virus as well as a continually updated “situation summary” on the CDC’s handling of the pandemic. Also available: information on coronavirus symptoms and how to be prepared. And lest we forget, there’s also a “FluView” tracker to see where seasonal influenza is spreading.

FEMA

(iOS, Android; free)

The role of FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — is still evolving in the pandemic, but with the U.S. issuing a Major Disaster Declaration for New York, the agency can target billions of dollars in disaster relief funds in the state. Beyond coronavirus, the FEMA app can warn you of and help you prepare for and survive other disasters that strike Long Island. You can localize the app by ZIP code to get local alerts.

Twitter

(iOS, Android; free)

Twitter provides a mixed bag of factual information, breaking news and, unfortunately, its usual oversupply of misinformation. Stick to reputable accounts for alerts, for example @CDCgov, @NIH, @WHO, @NYSDOH and @U.S.FDA. For local news consider @newsday, @News12LI and @nytimes. Be aware if you stray from these reliable sources and type in #coronavirus, you will see trustworthy news mixed with half-truths and outright lies from charlatans and quacks, although Twitter is trying to remove the worst of these posts. Look for the blue verified checkmark on any account you follow. 

+

Google rolls out coronavirus site

Google has set up a website dedicated to news, blogs, data and statistics about coronavirus. The site, google.com/covid19, includes several categories, including “health information,” “safety & prevention tips,” “data & insights” and “resources to help.” On the data & insights page, there is a continually updated “top searches related to coronavirus,” so you can spot trends by seeing what others are looking for. -- PETER KING

Coronavirus scam? Report it

Have you spotted a coronavirus scam or been victimized by one? The U.S. Justice Department wants to know about it. Typical scams include people selling fake coronavirus cures, phishing emails purporting to come from the CDC or World Health Organization and a request for donations for bogus charities. Report frauds to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline (866-720-5721) or by emailing disaster@leo.gov. --PETER KING

Facebook drug ads draw scrutiny

After avoiding social media, drug companies are growing bolder about advertising on Facebook. But privacy activists are alarmed that the companies are using Facebook’s opaque systems to target consumers who match certain characteristics or visited a particular website in the past. For example, users are reporting that ads promoting prescription drugs for depression, HIV and cancer are popping up on their Facebook feeds but not others. – WASHINGTON POST

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health