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Twitter is flexing its communication muscle once again. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has been monitoring the much publicized outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, and in addition to creating a section on its own webpage, www.cdc.gov, the CDC is using a Twitter account to get information out to the public as quickly as possible.

You can follow their Twitter updates here: @CDCemergency.
In addition, some of their tweets have the #swineflu hashtag.
As of this article they had over 17,000 Followers. Their most recent tweet was used as a call for a meeting:

CDC Swine Flu Update – Conference Call for Clinicians – 2-3PM ET NOW!http://bit.ly/y9g7Z

The government is becoming social media savvy. Beyond Congress members tweeting their every thought during American election speeches and sessions, this government public health agency is discovering the strategic effectiveness of Twitter as a communication forum.

I have written in the past about Twitter being used for fire and police updates, and seeing it as a medium for public health messages is yet another indication that Twitter is gaining relevance and legitimacy beyond its original uses. From social connection to blog promotion to affiliate marketing to lead generation and now to public health updates, Twitter is proving to be a powerful communication force that will continue to define the future of the Internet.