Google Flutrends Processes Flu-related Search Terms to Plot Flu Activity Nationwide

Google has rolled out Flu Trends (, which uses computers to process millions of Internet searches people make for keywords that might be related to the flu — for instance “thermometer” “cough,” or “fever.” Flu Trends displays the results on a map of the U.S. and shows a chart of changes in flu activity around the country. Historical flu trend data are also overlayed. The x-axis of the graph represents the months of the year. Flu activity is represented in the y-axis. The data is meaningful because the Google division that created Flu Trends found a strong correlation between the number of Internet searches related to the flu and the number of people reporting flu symptoms.