I saw an interesting site on the news today called healthmap.
Healthmap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization).
The alerts posted are not meant to be used as surveillance data, however they do give an interesting picture of some diseases that are present in certain areas. Many regions in the US are using automated syndromic surveillance which allows a very comprehensive analysis of disease syndromes present in the community. This data is not always available to the general public. Reporting data sources such as news reports , personal accounts such as ProMED, and and validated health alerts allows the general public to have a picture of some of the disease existing in a region. The links allow the reader to learn more about the particular disease of interest. I applaude healthmap for bringing disease surviellance to the public.