It's approaching flu season, and Google.org released Flu Trends to identify the relationship between where people have the flu and where people search for the flu online. Researchers at Google noticed that there are more flu-related searches during flu season, and the search trend actually matches that of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's data. The flu-related search terms are found to be good indicators for the flu, and Google maps where infection zones are minimal, moderate, high, and epidemic. The data is automatic, where traditional flu tracking systems can take one- to two-weeks to collect and release data, according to a Google statement. The Flu Trends tool can aid healthcare newsletters to develop more targeted messages, and advertisers to determine where to geo-target search campaigns, to name a few possible uses for the Google tool.
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