Google & CDC Team Up To Share Flu Trends

4:03 PM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
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Even if you never get the flu, you can't ignore the spread of the flu in North Carolina.

As of last week, 27 people in our state alone have died from the flu. And that number does not include the infant we know died this month as a result of the flu. That baby was too young for the flu shot. And many people ask, did the people who died from the flu get the flu shot? Unfortunately, the state health department does not tell us that information in their weekly updates.

Shot or no shot, 2 Wants to Know found a way you may be able to track the flu in your area on your own, ahead of what the government releases. Google teamed up with Centers for Disease Control and added a Flu Trends page.

They've found a relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms! Their charts show North Carolina is in the high range, which the state confirms. You can even search to find the trend in your city. We chose Greensboro and found it's in the high range too!

In case you're wondering, Google says flu trends can never be used to identify individual users. They say they use anonymized search queries, so it's not a privacy violation.

WFMY News 2

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