A new Facebook app is giving users the opportunity to track down the person who gave them the flu.
Called “Help, I have the flu,” the app scans friends’ status updates for words such as “coughing,” “sneezing,” and — of course — “flu,” and checks the places those people might have checked into.
When users open the app, they are greeted with a sympathetic, “I’m sorry you have the flu. Nothing will make you feel better like finding someone to blame” and gives you the chance to find out who the culprit might have been. The app also checks for multiple late night posts. The app reasons that sleep deprivation puts people at an increased risk of catching the flu.
“Help, I have the flu” also gives you the option of sending a message to the person in the question. You can also purchase flu remedies for that person from the app creator, Help Remedies.
If you happen to not have the flu, the app tells you “Don’t get cocky” and says you will most likely catch it “if you are not currently 10,000 miles from human civilization in a sterilized cavern wrapped in plastic wrap.” The app then gives you the opportunity to see who might make you sick.
As we have previously reported, the flu struck unusually early this season, arriving about five weeks ahead of time. The last time the flu hit the US so early was 2003 to 2004.
This flu season has yet to hit its peak, however, and experts are unsure of just how severe it will be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release information about the progression of flu case every Friday, but if you can’t wait, Google Flu Trends or Flu Near You offer more current updates.