Google search engine drives online flu map

[AFP] is using flu-related internet search traffic in Mexico to create an online map that might provide clues to how influenza is spreading in that country.The internet giant’s philanthropic arm has been doing the same for the United States at its Google Flu Trends website since late 2008 but global spread of an influenza strain traced to Mexico prompted a longer reach.”We launched Google Flu Trends after finding a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms,” Google software engineers Jeremy Ginsberg and Matt Mohebbi said in a blog post at the California firm’s website.,24897,25407965-15306,00.html puts flu tracker to work on swine flu
Using a new tracking tool, search engine giant Google said on Wednesday it saw a spike in searches for information about flu among people in Mexico last week even before news of the outbreak became widely known.Google said it has put together a flu trends tracking system for Mexico based on the U.S. Google Flu tool launched last fall that is used by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to figure out where influenza is heating up.

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