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Artificial intelligence could help you avoid the flu this year

Did you get a flu shot this year? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone get a flu vaccination every year.

That’s because influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. But, a flu shot will only go so far in prevention. We also need to take steps to avoid falling ill, like keeping our devices clean. Tap or click for 5 ways to disinfect your tech and keep colds and flu away.

Avoiding people who are already sick is another great idea. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) can help you do just that.

Watson, is it safe to go to the movies tonight?

When many of us think of artificial intelligence (AI) we think of robots or various smart assistants like Alexa. But AI is used in many fields, including medicine, where it has helped doctors and researchers make important advancements. Tap or click here to see how AI is helping doctors detect cancer.

Now, AI will be used to help you avoid coming down with the flu. And, IBM’s Watson will play a major role in the process.

You might also like: AI is now watching for theft at this major retailer

An updated version of the Weather Channel app has a new feature called Flu Insights. It uses IBM’s Watson to help users avoid the flu.

With the app you can not only track weather conditions and receive alerts, but now you can also track the flu with insights from Watson. It’s able to predict the risk of flu up to 15 days in advance.

You can even sign up for alerts that will warn you when there is an increased risk of flu in the area. Get notified at the start of flu season and whenever there are confirmed outbreaks.

Thinking about going to a friend’s birthday party? Check with Watson first to see if it’s going to be a high-risk flu hotspot.

To take advantage of the Flu Insights feature, you’ll need to download the Weather Channel app. It’s available free for both Apple and Android devices.

Tap or click here to get the app for iOS. For Android, click or tap here.

Helpful ways to prevent getting the flu

If you are in a high-risk area, the CDC suggests these steps to prevent catching the flu:

  • Avoid close contact – Stay away from people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick – If possible, stay home from work, school and running errands when you’re sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose – Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Clean your hands – Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth – Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits – Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Speaking of AI, how would you like to listen to The Kim Komando Show with your smart speaker? You can now listen to The Kim Komando Show right on your Alexa-enabled speaker.

Just say, “Alexa, play The Kim Komando Show” to subscribe and start listening! Click or tap to learn more about listening to Kim on your Echo.

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