Google Flu Trends

Google Flu Trends
flu map.jpg

Google is aggregating their search data to estimate flu activity by state, they say up to two weeks faster than the CDC.

We have found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms. Of course, not every person who searches for “flu” is actually sick, but a pattern emerges when all the flu-related search queries from each state and region are added together. We compared our query counts with data from a surveillance system managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and discovered that some search queries tend to be popular exactly when flu season is happening. By counting how often we see these search queries, we can estimate how much flu is circulating in various regions of the United States.

8 thoughts on “Google Flu Trends

  1. Nick says:

    A few of the Great Lakes have dried up!!!

  2. Patti Schiendelman says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, it may be an indicator of a bad flu year!

  3. Val says:

    More evidence that Google is going to take over the world … and that I don’t mind.

  4. johloh says:

    I just got excited when I saw a US map with all the states colored in blue!!

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