Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google Tracking Flu Trends

Feeling sick? Heading online to Google to find some remedies? If so, you would be one of the many people Google is tracking in an effort to figure out which areas of the country are sick. They are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Google's tracking methods have been found to be superior to past methods in the speed at which the disease is tracked.

"Our team found that certain aggregated search queries tend to be very common during flu season each year. We compared these aggregated queries against data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we found that there's a very close relationship between the frequency of these search queries and the number of people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms each week. As a result, if we tally each day's flu-related search queries, we can estimate how many people have a flu-like illness. Based on this discovery, we have launched Google Flu Trends, where you can find up-to-date influenza-related activity estimates for each of the 50 states in the U.S."

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