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Google’s search data may be able to provide an early warning of flu outbreaks

At the request of the CDC, Google took a look at its previous search data from Mexico. And it found a rise in flu-related search terms that did not match previous seasonal flu searches .  Jeremy Ginsberg, with Google’s flu trends, said, “We did see a small increase in many parts of Mexico before major news coverage began last week.”

It’s encouraging to think that Google’s Flu Trends system may be able to detect the next unusual flu outbreak.  Engineers have  even checked their equations and graphs against cases of U.S. Flu Trends, the of flu, and it looks like Google’s system follows the CDC’s data pretty close.

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