How To: Use Google to Find Out if There is High Flu Activity in Your Area

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that there is a nasty flu bug going around. Workplaces are decimated and Facebook news feeds are littered with users commiserating about their maladies.

flu outbreak map january 2013

Well, I have some good and bad news. The good news is that you aren’t imagining things. The bad news is that there is a terrible outbreak of the flu pretty much across the entire North American continent.

Social Network Users

How did I know this? Google has an amazing tool called Flu Trends. Flu Trends monitors Google search data for flu-related terms to estimate flu activity in a specific area of the world. You can drill down to country and then state or province and compare this year’s activity with historical data.

This is a great tool for finding out if an uptick in flu-stricken friends is something more widespread and if it is normal for the time of year. Definitely something to bookmark and check when needed.

Hope everyone feels better soon!

Map Image Credit: Google