Friday, January 11, 2013

More on the flu from New Scientist

New Scientist: Is the US facing Flu-maggedon?

Don't forget to check out Google Flu Trends and this old article on predicting flu outbreaks using Twitter feeds:
"The Centers for Disease Control produces weekly estimates," he added, "but those reports typically lag a week or two behind. This approach produces estimates daily."
[Aron Culotta, assistant professor of computer science] and two student assistants analyzed more than 500 million Twitter messages over the eight-month period of August 2009 to May 2010, collected using Twitter's application programming interface (API). By using a small number of keywords to track rates of influenza-related messages on Twitter, the team was able to forecast future influenza rates.