Google uses search data to estimate US flu activity

first_imgNov 13, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Millions of people who use the Internet to look for information about influenza provide the fuel for a system launched by Google this week to estimate flu activity day by day in the United, the philanthropic arm of the Internet search company, unveiled the system, called Google Flu Trends, after determining that the volume of searches for information about flu matches up very well with reports of influenza-like illness (ILI) gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the search data reveal flu activity up to 2 weeks earlier than official reports do, according to the company.”By making our flu estimates available each day, Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza,” said in an online statement.The Google team found that certain search queries are very common during flu season, so it compared the frequency of these queries with the CDC’s surveillance data on ILI.”We found that there’s a very close relationship between the frequency of these search queries and the number of people who are experiencing flu-like illness each week,” the statement said. “As a result, if we tally each day’s flu-related search queries, we can estimate how many people have a flu-like illness.”Google Flu Trends offers a Web page featuring a chart that compares this year’s flu activity with past years’, plus a US map that lists the level of flu activity for each state. Another page has a chart that shows how CDC surveillance data for last season closely matched estimates from the Google tool—but lagged the Google estimates by about 2 weeks.CDC will use system”Last year they [Google] validated the model prospectively,” said Lyn Finelli, PhD, head of surveillance for the CDC’s Influenza Division. “They looked at their signal and ours on a week-to-week basis, and the two tracked very, very closely. There was a very close correlation both regionally and nationally last year.”The CDC plans to monitor Google’s data closely, using the publicly accessible site, Finelli told CIDRAP News. “We’ll look at the data either daily or several times a week and see if it provides any signals for us to look into, we’ll talk to Google about those signals, and then contact state and local public health departments and give them the heads up . . . and see if they need any help for control and prevention,” she said.While the CDC uses electronic systems to monitor various kinds of disease data, the Google tool marks the agency’s first use of a disease surveillance system based on Internet queries by the public, Finelli said.The development of Google Flu Trends is described in a draft scientific paper posted on the site. The Google statement said a later version of the report has been accepted “in principle” for publication in Nature.”About 90 million American adults are believed to search online for information about specific diseases or medical problems each year, making Web search queries a uniquely valuable source of information about disease trends,” says the draft paper, authored by a team from Google and the CDC, with Executive Director Dr. Larry Brilliant as senior author.50 million search terms testedThe team used Google’s system to identify about 50 million of the most common search queries in the United States, according to the paper. Then, an automated process was used to compare the frequency of these searches with flu-like illness data gathered by the CDC from its network of sentinel physicians, who report what percentage of their patients each week seek treatment for flu symptoms. This was done for each search term in each of the CDC’s nine surveillance regions, with the aim of finding the terms whose usage most closely matched the CDC data.This process produced a list of 53 high-scoring search terms that appeared to be related to flu, the report says. Armed with these, Google developed nine predictive models, one for each region. The models matched up well with the CDC’s ILI percentages, with a mean correlation of 0.90.The report says the search terms describe symptoms, medications, and other diseases that people might associate with flu, but Google is not disclosing the terms its system uses. As Finelli explained, “People could change their behavior based on publication of those terms,” which could make the estimates less accurate.Because the CDC does not publish weekly ILI percentages for each state, Google Flu Trends cannot directly generate state-level flu activity estimates, according to the draft report. However, the company uses its regional estimates to generate state-level estimates, using the number of queries in each state. When this method was tested for Utah by comparing the Google estimate with the state-reported level of ILI, the two estimates were highly correlated (0.85).The tool does not give estimates for areas smaller than states at this point. But it “may be capable of providing ILI estimates for large cities and metropolitan areas with high internet penetration, providing even more local influenza surveillance,” the draft report says. “We hope to explore this topic as well.”Although the report says the general location from which a query came can often be identified through the associated Internet protocol address, Google says its tool protects the privacy of Internet users. “Flu Trends can never be used to identify individual users because we rely on anonymized, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries occur each week,” the company statement said.International expansion contemplatedThe draft report suggests the possibility of expanding Flu Trends to other countries: “We hope to extend this system to enhance global influenza surveillance, especially in areas which currently lack the necessary resources, including laboratory diagnostic capacity.” But it adds that it would not yet be possible to apply this approach in “large parts of the developing world.”The report also says that when a pandemic strain of flu arises, Flu Trends might permit early detection of a surge in flu-like illnesses, enabling public health officials to respond faster. However, it adds that “panic and concern” in that situation might trigger a surge of flu-related queries from healthy people, leading to exaggerated estimates of the level of ILI.Acknowledging that Flu Trends has some limitations, the report states, “Our system remains susceptible to false alerts caused by a sudden increase in ILI-related queries. An unusual event, such as a drug recall for some popular cold or flu remedy, could cause such a false alert.” Also, media coverage of the system “may change the health-seeking behavior of Google search users. It is difficult to predict the extent to which this might occur.”The unveiling of Flu Trends comes on the heels of a study in which researchers found that flu-related searches on the Yahoo! search engine were a good predictor of the incidence of culture-confirmed flu cases. The report, published online Oct 27 by Clinical Infectious Diseases, says a model based on frequency of searches predicted increases in flu cases 1 to 3 weeks before they occurred. Similar models predicted increases in deaths attributable to pneumonia and flu up to 5 weeks in advance.Google’s tool joins a variety of other initiatives that use the Internet and computer technology to spot and track disease outbreaks, some of them by mining nontraditional information sources. Examples include ProMED, the Web and e-mail service of the International Society for Infectious Diseases; Boston-based HealthMap, which searches the Internet for disease reports, sorts them, and links them to a world map; and the volunteer effort, which collects and maps reports of illness from site users.See also: Google Flu Trends main page Flu Trends page with explanation and surveillance chart Infectious Diseases report on the use of Yahoo! searches to predict flu activity (abstract) 21 CIDRAP News story “More efforts look outside the box for outbreak signals”May 16, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Syndromic surveillance: faulty alarm system or useful tool?”last_img read more

Danny Murphy predicts where Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal will finish next season

first_imgAdvertisement Danny Murphy predicts where Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal will finish next season Comment Former Premier League star Danny Murphy (Picture: Getty)‘That will mean heartbreak for Chelsea. They have made the right appointments in Frank Lampard and Jody Morris but will have to be patient.‘They have lost Eden Hazard, are under a transfer ban and are without the injured Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.’Murphy also believes Arsenal are most at risk of dropping out of the top six, adding: ‘Arsenal look most vulnerable.‘It would be good to see someone else break through but I think the Gunners have too much firepower in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and new boy Nicolas Pepe to lose their status.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves Danny Murphy’s Premier League predictions 1. Liverpool2. Manchester City3. Tottenham4. Manchester United5. Chelsea6. Arsenal—18. Norwich City19. Brighton20. Sheffield United  The new Premier League season starts next week (Picture: Getty)Danny Murphy has delivered his predictions for the new Premier League season and is backing Liverpool to finally get their hands on the title.Jurgen Klopp’s side pushed Manchester City all the way last season but still finished second despite amassing 96 points across a hugely impressive campaign.Man City also won the Premier League in 2018, meaning they will bid to secure a hat-trick of titles when the new season starts next week.Chelsea finished third last term but have since replaced Maurizio Sarri with club legend Frank Lampard, while Tottenham claimed the final Champions League place.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal and Manchester United both finished outside of the top four last season and will be hoping for significant improvements this term after productive transfer windows.AdvertisementAdvertisementMurphy told the Daily Mail: ‘Manchester City and Liverpool were 25 points clear of the field last season.‘I’m sure they won’t quite repeat their unbelievable results but it will still be a two-horse race for the title. The gap is too big for their rivals to make up in one go.‘A fully-fit Kevin de Bruyne will give City a boost, he is one of the best midfield players in the world, but I’m still backing Liverpool to turn around the one-point deficit from last May. Metro Sport ReporterSunday 4 Aug 2019 11:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares ‘Partly it’s because City could subconsciously prioritise the Champions League, having won the Premier League twice in a row.‘The main reason, however, is the departure of Vincent Kompany, their leader for so long.‘Kompany can be replaced on the pitch but in the dressing room and training ground it will be impossible to find someone with his experience, credibility and gravitas.’Explaining why he believes United will break into the top four, Murphy said: ‘I’ve got a feeling they will improve through financial power – particularly now they have signed Harry Maguire – and will join Tottenham in the top four. Advertisementlast_img read more

RACQ Insurance names worst postcodes for home break-ins

first_imgBarry and Cherrie Waldron, from Forest Lake, say they’re surprised by the data.BRISBANE’s home theft hot spots have been revealed, with latest insurance figures showing where owners were targeted the most last year.Data from RACQ Insurance found that the most claims involving home theft came out of Forest Lake, Birkdale and Springwood, followed by Regents Park, Buderim and Bridgeman Downs.Last year, 782 insurance claims were recorded, up from 758 the previous year, according to RACQ figures alone, with Forest Lake seeing 15 break-ins last year while Birkdale had 10.Unfortunately many of the robberies could have been avoided if owners simply locked up, according to RACQ Insurance spokeswoman Anna Jeffries“Unfortunately we see too many householders are making it easy for thieves to enter their home by leaving doors and windows open or unlocked,” she said.Mrs Jeffries said the most common items stolen from homes included jewellery, computers and personal items.Ray White Middle Park agent Susan Bardon said Forest Lake was one of the largest suburbs in Queensland with the largest number of homes. “Compared to other suburbs, you would expect a higher number of burglary rates,” Ms Bardon said. “I don’t think it’s a concern, especially because it’s a big suburb.”Ms Bardon owns an investment property in Forest Lake, which she bought eight years ago, and said her father-in-law also lived in the area.“No doubt buyers want a safe suburb — I am confident to say it is a safe suburb,” she saidForest Lake residents Barry and Cherrie Waldron have lived in the area for close to 25 years and said they were surprised by the data.“I’ve never had any concerns,” Mr Waldron said. “I feel very safe (in Forest Lake).”Mr Waldron recently sold a property at Forest Lake which he has owned since 1994 and decided to stay and buy another home in the area. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” he said. Top southeast suburbs for break-ins (2016) Forest Lake 15Birkdale 10Springwood 10Regents Park 9Buderim 9Bridgeman Downs 9Kallangur 9Carindale 8Eight Mile Plains 8More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours agoSouthport 8 Source: RACQ Insurance Top 10 items for theft claims Jewellery 4037Personal items 2183Computers 1689Doors 1069Photographic camera 738Sporting/recreational/hobby equipment 630CD/DVD games 552Cash/negotiable items 504Audio/visual 450Tools and hardware-power — 387 Source: RACQ Insurancelast_img read more

APG blasts extension of voting rights in French shareholder law

first_imgAPG, the €424bn Dutch asset manager, has criticised French shareholder legislation that grants double voting rights to investors that hold a stake in a company for more than two years.It argued that limiting double voting rights to registered shares, as stipulated in the Florange Act, placed an entire group of shareholders – including institutional investors with long-term horizons – at a disadvantage against larger stakeholders.APG, asset manager for €373bn civil service pension fund ABP, made its objections public soon after the French government indicated that it aimed to increase its stake in Air France-KLM from 15.88% to 17.58%.The Dutch manager said it strongly supported the principle of one-share/one-vote, “as these voting rights match a shareowner’s economic interest in a company’’. “Granting extra rights for voting or receiving dividend to specific shareholders differentiates between investors with the same economic interest,’’ it said.“Such control-enhancing mechanisms lead to distortion between share ownership and voting rights, and provide powerful tools to keep or gain control of companies at low costs, and sometimes at the expense of minority shareholders.’’APG said it would support the proposal to opt out of the double voting rights – tabled by the executive board of Air France-KLM – during the company’s AGM on 21 May.The asset manager has a 0.1% stake in the airline.last_img read more

Culvert replacement to close U.S. 421 next week

first_imgNapoleon, In. — The Indiana Department of Transportation will close U.S. 421 north of Napoleon for 14 days beginning Monday, July 24 for culvert replacement. The detour for the closure is State Road 229, State Road 48, State Road 129 and State Road 46.The $1.7 million project includes removing and replacing a 46-foot long, 12-foot X 9-foot culvert at Lost Fork on U.S. 421 and a bridge replacement at Sand Creek, just south of Greensburg.Weather could impact the expected completion date.last_img read more

34 Raceway car show, kick-off party this Saturday

first_imgBURLINGTON, Iowa – The 2015 season has arrived for 34 Raceway.The annual 34 Raceway car show will be held at Heartland Harley-Davidson in Burlington from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drivers bringing cars can begin setting up at 10:30 a.m.A complimentary lunch will be served. Fans can greet their favorite drivers, get some autographs and see all the cars before they hit the track for the first race on Saturday, April 4.Drivers and fans alike can finish the day out at Roederers Pit Stop in Burlington beginning at 6 p.m. for the 34 Raceway kick-off party. Fans in attendance will be eligible for ticket and gift card giveaways.The band Double Play begins playing at 8 p.m.last_img read more

North Vernon man killed in Jennings County crash

first_imgScipio, IN—Tuesday afternoon a single-vehicle crash on State Road 7 near County Road 750 North in northern Jennings County claimed the life of a North Vernon man.The initial investigation by Troopers indicated a Ford Ranger being driven by Mark A. Holt, 58, was traveling northbound on State Road 7. The truck left the east side before returning to the road and overturning.  After it overturned, the vehicle caught fire.  Holt sustained fatal injuries in the crash.  He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Jennings County Coroner’s Office.The investigation is ongoing.last_img read more

MFM FC player goes on AWOL

first_imgRelatedPosts NPFL: Warri Wolves whip visiting MFM FC NPFL: Kano Pillars struggle to slim win over MFM FC MFM FC player goes on AWOL Premier League campaigners, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC, on Friday declared Oriyomi Murtala Lawal Away Without Official Leave. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of the club, Davidson Adejuwon. The statement reads: “We wishes to inform the general public, most especially the Clubs in Nigerian Football Leagues about one of its players, Oriyomi Murtala Lawal is presently AWOL. “The player left the club on the 15th January, 2020, a night before our home game against Jigawa Golden Stars without the knowledge nor approval of the club’s management. “MFM FC warn that any club or agent approaching the player for the purpose of transfer without MFM’s approval will face the risk of a lawsuit, as the player is corrently on contract at MFM FC.”Tags: AWOLDavidson AdejuwonMFM FCOriyomi Murtala Lawallast_img read more

No limit for Hugo absence – expert

first_imgThere is no way of knowing how long Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be sidelined following his head injury at Everton, according to a spokesman from ImPACT Applications. Press Association “There is no hard and fast rule in how long a recovery can take,” said Dr. James Gyurke from ImPACT Applications: “Everybody reacts to it differently. In a concussed state the recovery period should be viewed as occurring over several days to weeks, not a single day. There is no prescribed timeline for someone.” With 80 per cent of people usually recovering from concussion within six to 10 days, Lloris is now in the window to show signs he is close to a return. Gyurke explained the ImPACT System would have only formed part of a medical examination that led to Lloris being declared unfit and also suggested staying on at Everton may not have been the right decision. “Getting up and carrying on with the game is not a wise thing to do if there is a suspicion the athlete has suffered a head injury,” he told Press Association Sport. “There is some data that suggests it is likely you are more susceptible to further mild traumatic brain injuries, though this is not definitive. “ImPACT is not a diagnosis and does not provide a diagnosis. It is a tool. It is like the results obtained from an MRI scan. The test doesn’t tell you to keep an athlete in a match or take them out but it is a piece of data the medical professional should use to form his or her clinical decision. “When you’re talking about an individual’s level of impairment post injury, an athlete may under-report the severity of the symptoms he or she is feeling or experiencing in an effort to return to play. However, they generally can’t distort their test performance, it is very accurate.” center_img Despite playing on at Goodison Park after being knocked unconscious in a collision with Romelu Lukaku, Lloris has sat out Spurs’ last two fixtures with manager Andre Villas-Boas confirming he was not risked in Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle after failing to come through Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) – a computerised concussion evaluation system. France captain Lloris has been called up for his country’s World Cup qualifying play-off against Ukraine, but it is still unclear as to whether the 26-year-old will be involved. last_img read more

Hancock County XC runners recognized for academics

first_imgELLSWORTH — Fourteen Hancock County high school cross-country runners were named to the Penobscot Valley Conference Senior All-Academic team.The following seniors have maintained a grade point average of 90 percent of higher over the past six semesters:Ellsworth’s Tim Curts, Conrad Svec and Victoria Page Jackson; George Stevens Academy’s Xiaoben Wang, Jacob Witting, Rachel DesFosses, Megan Gale and Hanna Gutow; and Mount Desert Island’s Matthew Lambert, Peter Philbrook, Xingyao Chen, Allison Gray, Kelsey Shaw and Sierra Tapley.The following Hancock County high school cross-country runners made academic teams:This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGirls’ large school first team: MDI sophomore Emma Strong.Girls’ large school second team: MDI sophomore Emily Banks and senior Xingyao.Girls’ small school first team: GSA sophomores Eliza Broughton, Zeya Lorio and Mary Richardson.Girls’ small school second team: Bucksport junior Natasha Clement, GSA senior Hanna Gutow and GSA freshman Tess Williamson.Girls’ small school honorable mention: GSA junior Bella Cimeno and senior Rachel DesFosses.Boys’ large school first team: MDI senior Peter Philbrook.Boys’ large school second team: Ellsworth sophomore Matt Frost and MDI freshman Sean Murray.Boys’ large school honorable mention: Ellsworth freshman Mark Berry and MDI sophomore Nick Reznick.Boys’ small school first team: GSA juniors John Hassett and Ollie Dillon and senior Will Entwisle.Boys’ small school second team: Bucksport senior Skyler Fraga, Deer Isle-Stonington sophomore Brendan Penfold and GSA senior Aylen Wolf.Boys’ small school honorable mention: GSA seniors Oliver Broughton and Devlin Valle and Bucksport freshman Daniel Gonczy.Full results are listed below:Girls Large School First TeamAmanda Boyd, John Bapst, JuniorJen Clawson, Foxcroft, SeniorMandy Graham, Presque Isle, SeniorMadison Jandreau, Presque Isle, FreshmanSimone Michaud, Caribou, JuniorAudree O’Meara, Old Town, FreshmanEmma Strong, MDI, SophomoreGirls Large School Second TeamEmily Banks, MDI, SophomoreEmma Belyea, Caribou, JuniorKaitlyn Berube, John Bapst, JuniorXingyao Chen, MDI, SeniorMadeline Gudde, Caribou. JuniorIsabelle Jackson, Presque Isle, SophomoreBrianna O’Leary, Old Town, SeniorGirls Large School Honorable MentionEmily Austin, Caribou, FreshmanEmily Colligan, Presque Isle, SeniorSarah Hunt, John Bapst, JuniorJulia Page, Caribou, JuniorGirls Small School First TeamEliza Broughton, GSA, SophomoreKassidy Dill, Orono, JuniorCamille Kohtala, Orono, FreshmanZeya Lorio, GSA, SophomoreMary Richardson, GSA, SophomoreHannah Steelman, Orono, JuniorTia Tardy, Orono, JuniorGirls Small School Second TeamMary Brenna Catus, Searsport, SophomoreNatasha Clement, Bucksport, JuniorOlivia Fandel, Orono, SeniorHanna Gutow, GSA, SeniorVanessa Twombly, Mattanawcook, SeniorRylee Warman, Houlton, JuniorTess Williamson, GSA, FreshmanGirls Small School Honorable MentionMaggie Banks, Lee, SophomoreBella Cimeno, GSA, JuniorLiza Gallandt, Orono, SophomoreRachel DesFosses, GSA, SeniorMeg Moulton, Washington Acad, SeniorLeela Stockley, Mattanawcook, JuniorOlivia Winslow, Houlton, Senior2015 PVC Cross Country All-Conference Boys TeamsBoys Large School First TeamJason Bartley, Presque Isle, SeniorEvan Desmond, Caribou, SophomoreChathu Karunasiri, Caribou, SeniorTsion Macleod, Caribou, SeniorGabe Paquette, Foxcroft, SeniorPeter Philbrook, MDI, SeniorDaniel Randolph, Caribou, SophomoreBoys Large School Second TeamConnor Archer, Old Town, SeniorCaleb Hunter, Caribou. SeniorMatt Frost, Ellsworth, SophomoreGabe Massey, Caribou, SeniorSean Murray, MDI, FreshmanConnor Poirier, Old Town, JuniorHunter Willey, Old Town, JuniorBoys Large School Honorable MentionMark Berry, Ellsworth, FreshmanMackenzie Ladd, John Bapst, SophomoreNick Reznick, MDI, SophomoreElijah Verhoff, Caribou, SeniorBoys Small School First TeamIsaiah Brown, Houlton, JuniorTristan Butterfield, Orono, SeniorOllie Dillon, GSA, JuniorWill Entwisle, GSA, SeniorJohn Hassett, GSA, JuniorMatt Keresey, Orono, SophomoreWilliam O’Neil, Orono, JuniorBoys Small School Second TeamAddison Coty, Calais, SophomoreSkyler Fraga, Bucksport, SeniorHowie Francis, Lee, JuniorBrendan Penfold, Deer Isle, SophomoreLowell Ruck, Orono, JuniorWilliam Strauch, Dexter, JuniorAylen Wolf, GSA, SeniorBoys Small School Honorable MentionOliver Broughton, GSA, SeniorJoshua Burris, Mattanawcook, SophomoreDaniel Gonczy, Bucksport, FreshmanKyle Ham, Central, SeniorGavin MacDonald, Orono, FreshmanJonathan Steelman, Orono, FreshmanDevlin Valle, GSA, Senior2015 PVC Cross Country Senior All-Academic Team(Six semesters of a GPA of 90% or better)CALAIS: Felicia Moholland.CARIBOU: Chathu Karunasiri, Elijah Verhoff, David Hunter, Caleb Hunter.CENTRAL: Kyle Ham.ELLSWORTH: Tim Curts, Conrad Svec, Victoria Page Jackson.FOXCROFT: Cooper Nelson, Matthew Kim, Jennifer Clawson.GEORGE STEVENS: Xiaoben Wang, Jacob Witting, Rachel DesFosses,Megan Gale, Hanna Gutow.HERMON: Rylee Cushman, Nick Langille.HOULTON: Adam Casillias, Olivia Winslow.JOHN BAPST: Ben Ropple.LEE ACADEMY: Shane Averill.MATTANAWCOOK: Vanessa Twombly.MT. DESERT ISLAND: Matthew Lambert, Peter Philbrook, Xingyao Chen,Allison Gray, Kelsey Shaw, Sierra Tapley.OLD TOWN: Connor Archer, Nick Dieffenbacher-Krall,Keegan Feero, Ian Haddow, Derek Hass, Jordan Kelly, Austin Robichaud,Cameron Sullivan, Lauren Higgins, Brianna O’Leary, Josie Robichaud.ORONO: Olivia Fandel.PRESQUE ISLE: Jason Bartley, Alyssa Sweeney.WASHINGTON ACADEMY: Skyler Aucoin-Wright.last_img read more