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:12/2/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... the Open Enrollment Period (or Annual Election Period), is ending December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare ... plan (Part C) or prescription drug plan (Part D) need to make changes during ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... inspirational interview of two ostomy patients, standing as living proof that attitude and ... from digestive diseases and issues that spike around the holidays. This campaign will ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of "Cardiovascular Health" in USA Today, which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, ... while maintaining fulfilling lives. “We are prolonging life 6 years in the last ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... OH (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of veterinarian diagnostic imaging systems and the first company to offer ... With a Heart at their tradeshow booth # 941 for the American Association ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, ... into Bible Prophecy. Yisrayl says this generation, known as the Last Generation, started in ... the details line up exactly with Bible Prophecy – a protected way for those ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016  Today, Simpson Healthcare Executives, ... honor of being selected as winners of multiple awards ... Executives Website at the PLATINUM level, Blue Zones Menu ... at the GOLD Level, and our proprietary 3ConneX Platform ... Simpson Healthcare Executives, we are excited to showcase our ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... BRUSSELS , Dec. 2, 2016  UCB is pleased to ... presentation at the upcoming 70 th American Epilepsy Society ... Houston, TX , USA. 1-12 ... safety and efficacy profile of VIMPAT ® (lacosamide) CV ... also share findings on the current state of the union ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016 Allergan plc (NYSE: ... information on its previously announced Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) Program. ... ... As previously announced, the Company entered into a ... the Company will repurchase $10 billion of its ordinary shares. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: