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Want to know where you got the flu? There's an app for that

Tuesday - 1/8/2013, 1:15pm  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Even saintly people who get sick can unintentionally infect others.

Now there's a Facebook app that can track who might be responsible for spreading ailments among "friends."

On Facebook, search for "Help I have the flu," and a page pops up with an application that can be activated to sniff out whether a user's friends might have -- or could have spread -- the ailment.

The application scans posts for words such as "sneezing," "flu," and "coughing," according to The Huffington Post.

The Facebook app even evaluates the time of day such status updates occur.

People sick with the flu can spread the virus one day before feeling symptoms themselves, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can be contagious for as long as five to seven days after first feeling sick.

The CDC says sneezing and coughing can spread the flu up to about six feet away.

If someone is sick and the Facebook app suggests to them who might be responsible, The Huffington Post says the app can message the person in question telling them they've given someone the flu.

Users choosing to alert others that their ailment might be a problem can keep their identities secret. The app offers an option to prevent anyone but the user from seeing messages the app posts on the user's timeline.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)