Google Flu Trends predicts US flu activity

Google have launced a new online tool, Flu Trends, that can predict influenza outbreaks in different areas of the US. The tool works by monitoring how many flu-related internet searches are carried out – Google have previously correlated this with data on flu outbreaks from the US Center for Disease Control (see graph, below).

Users can check Flu Trends to check the level of ‘flu activity’ in their state day by day – currently Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Delaware, Maine and Hawaii have the highest incidence.

Has flu season reached your area yet? Don’t forget to write up a case report for your interesting cases, such as this recent report from En Kimura et al, “A reversible lesion of the corpus callosum splenium with adult influenza-associated encephalitis/encephalopathy“.

annual_cdc_comparison

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