By tracking the popularity of certain Google search queries, Google’s engineers have discovered that they can accurately estimate the level of flu in each state, in near real time.
Today Google.org launched a tool, Flu Trends, that makes this information accessible to all.
While traditional flu tracking systems take 1-2 weeks to collect and release data, Google search queries can be automatically counted immediately. During the last flu season, Google shared the preliminary results with the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division at CDC, and together it was seen that the search-based flu estimates had a consistently strong correlation with real CDC flu data.
Flu affects millions, and kills hundreds of thousands every year. Early detection is critical to helping health officials respond more quickly and save lives. Flu Trends can help serve as an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza.
To learn more, check out the Official Google Blog and www.google.org/flutrends
Source: Flu Trends, USA
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Editor Health NewsInfluenza Flu trends from Google.org
by Editor Health News ( Author at Health Newstrack )
Posted on November 12th, 2008 at 10:38 am.
Track Health News on: Influenza