This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week. The CDC has designated this week to highlight the importance of getting a flu shot.
In contrast to the unusually early spike of flu activity we saw this October, Google Flu Trends
is currently showing a low level of activity in the United States. Since the strain of influenza that is active (H1N1) is novel, no one knows exactly what will happen next. However, the CDC is warning
that one possibility is a second spike of flu activity, which is what occured in 1957
when another novel strain of influenza spread in the United States. From Google.org blog
Google has also marked the week with a new addition to its site. Its Flu Trends service is tracking flu activity in cities across the country. Google has found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity.
This is a pretty cool tool to play around with. The city level data is still limited, but still a handy tool.
Flu Trends around the world: http://www.google.org/flutrends/
watch this demo how the Google search terms correlate with the CDC findings: http://www.google.org/flutrends/about/how.html
What do you think about this new trending tool? I love seeing technology assisting in predictive trends