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The Outbreak of Influenza is Now Predicted

for Disease Control and Prevention's five-level grading system. The market accurately predicted the activity levels at the end of a target week 71 percent of the time, and was within one level 93 percent of the time. Longer-term predictions were less accurate, but still beat predictions based solely on historical averages up to four weeks in advance.

Dr. Polgreen and his coauthors imagine that infectious diseases prediction markets could be created almost overnight to address emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS. In the near future, Dr. Polgreen and his colleagues plan to launch a market to ascertain flu vaccine effectiveness and a separate market to evaluate the probability of human-to-human transmission of avian influenza in different parts of the world. "We think prediction markets can accurately forecast the future activity of a wide variety of infectious diseases and related phenomena by aggregating the expert opinions of health care providers," said Dr. Polgreen.

Source-Eurekalert
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