Navigation Links
Google Flu Trends estimates off
Date:5/17/2010

ATS 2010, NEW ORLEANS Google Flu Trends is not as accurate at estimating rates of laboratory-confirmed influenza as CDC national surveillance programs, according to a new study from the University of Washington.

The findings will be reported at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

"We knew from the Google Flu Trends validation study that it is highly correlated with surveillance for the non-specific syndrome of influenza-like illness," said Justin Ortiz, M.D., clinical fellow at the University of Washington who led the study. "However, it has never been evaluated against a gold standard of actual laboratory tests positive for influenza virus infection. When we compared Google Flu Trends data to CDC's national surveillance for influenza laboratory tests positive, we found that Google Flu Trends was 25 percent less accurate at estimating rates of laboratory confirmed influenza virus infection."

Google Flu Trends uses the popularity of certain Google search queries in real time to estimate nationwide rates of influenza-like illness activity, a non-specific combination of symptoms including a fever with either a cough or a sore throat without any confirmatory laboratory testing. While some traditional flu surveillance systems may take days or weeks to collect and release data, Google search queries can be counted almost instantaneously.

The problem is that studies have shown that influenza-like illnesses are actually caused by the influenza virus in only 20 percent to 70 percent of cases during the influenza season.

"Many respiratory virus infections other than influenza can result in influenza-like illness. Furthermore, there is a wide and unpredictable proportion of influenza-like illness that is due to actual influenza virus," said Dr. Ortiz. "Because Google Flu Trends estimates of influenza-like illness may not necessarily correlate with actual influenza virus infections, we undertook this study to evaluate the validity of Google Flu Trends influenza surveillance by comparing it to a gold standard of CDC's national surveillance for influenza laboratory tests positive."

The researchers analyzed the incidence of flu outbreaks in the United States between 2003 to 2008. They found that Google Flu Trends deviated greatest from CDC surveillance for influenza virus tests positive during the 2003-04 influenza season, a year notable for early and intense influenza activity, with a high number of pediatric influenza deaths and substantial media attention to influenza.

"Internet search behavior is likely different during anomalous seasons such as during 2003-4," explained Dr. Ortiz. "We hypothesize that during periods of intense media interest or unexpected influenza activity such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Google Flu Trends may be least accurate at estimating influenza activity."

"Still, Google Flu Trends influenza surveillance provides an excellent public health service, because it provides nationwide influenza activity data in a cheap and timely manner," said Dr. Ortiz. "Nevertheless, our study demonstrates that its data should be interpreted with caution and that other surveillance systems more accurately reflect influenza activity in the United States."


'/>"/>

Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Google's Email Security Change Does Not Make Online Counseling Secure: Online Counseling Clients and Counselors Risk Confidentiality Breach
2. Author John Gwynne Prosser II Offers "The Solution for Brain Injuries and Bankruptcies" With Free Educational Video Hosted by Google
3. IWHNA CEO Abdul Rao Encourages the Use of Google Health for Establishing a Patient-Specific Comprehensive Digital Health Record Across Enterprises
4. MathMagic Personal 4.8 for Windows Now Supports Google Docs and Zoho Equation
5. Skyscape Offers Medical Professionals Real Time Clinical Decision Application on Google Android
6. NABP Commends Googles VIPPS-Accreditation Requirement for Internet Pharmacy Advertisers
7. Pharmahelper Pleased To Recognize Online Pharmacy Practice Standards Announced By Google Adwords
8. Manymoon Now Available Through the Google Apps Marketplace
9. Bayshore Solutions Bring Facebook and Google Execs to Tampa April 27
10. PeopleStreme Human Capital Releases 'New Trends in Performance Management - 2010' Whitepaper
11. Mongoose Metrics Partners with Webtrends™ for Full-Scale Integration of Online and Offline Web Analytics Call Tracking Solutions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Vail knee specialist ... Leaders to Know in 2016 . The list consists of physicians establishing, leading and ... establish this list. , An Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as an ASC, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists is excited to bring patients the ... Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer the non-metal implants as a safe, ... to be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, Straumann, to bring this cutting-edge technology ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... February 12, ... ... website contains an article about foods choices that promote eye health. These articles ... optimal vision health. Water and health advocate Sharon Kleyne endorses every one of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... A lot has been reported about the ... has access to health and wellness resources most Americans could ever dream of having ... has a schedule as frenetic as the U.S. President. , In honor of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Yisrayl ... a revealing article this week that uncovers what he says are the real facts ... stories of the Bible from parents and Sunday school teachers, and Yisrayl says there ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... Ambulances announces its first delivery in the state of ... Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting of four vehicles: three ... Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, FL , USA, ... the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion of sales.  ... --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive Vice President at Demers. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Feb. 12, 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., ... Implant System ® ("iFuse"), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device ... announced that National Government Services, Inc. (NGS), the Medicare Administrative Contractor ... Illinois , Maine , ... Hampshire , New York , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  Sequent Medical, Inc. announced today that it ... the safety and effectiveness of the WEB™ Aneurysm Embolization ... aneurysms.  Prof Laurent Spelle , MD, Head of ... France and Principal Investigator of the CLARYS ... and Germany.  Although patients with ruptured aneurysms ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: