Login Event Calendar Careers About NACCHO Contact Us Site Map

Dear Visitor,

You have reached the archived version of NACCHO's website. As of February 1, 2016, the content on this site will no longer be updated and may contain outdated information. To see NACCHO's most recent and updated content, please visit our new site at www.naccho.org.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at support@naccho.org.

Print this page Print This Page

Email this page E-Mail This Page

Bookmark and Share

Google Flu Trends Catching on

January 14, 2010

When those around them are sick, or when they have caught something themselves, people get worried. With the Internet becoming a primary source of information for many, heading over to the computer to Google about an illness might be the next logical step to ease that anxiety.

Based on trends in the millions of search queries made every day, Google has been providing their own estimates of flu activity since November 2009—and are offering the service to a growing number of countries. This past Tuesday, they added a detailed map view for the U.S. that includes flu levels across 121 cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. 

In the U.S., Google tracking and estimating has been validated by the statistics on influenza-like illness (ILI) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By comparing flu estimates against threshold or baseline level activity throughout the U.S., Google assigns categories of severity of ILI to each region. Countries where Google estimates have not yet been validated are being labeled as experimental.


Local health officials can request more information on Google Flu Trends for their own country or region by filling out an online form. To be added to the program, data on ILI, acute respiratory infection, and/or laboratory-confirmed influenza case counts for the past three to five years is required.

Related Links:


Comments about this post

The query did not return any results.