'Google Flu Trends' tracks flu-related searches

'Google Flu Trends' tracks flu-related searches

CREATED Jan 10, 2013

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the nation braces for what could be the worst flu season in a decade, Google is mapping the disease as it spreads across the country.

Google Flu Trends tracks flu-related searches and the developer says it serves as a leading indicator of real-life infections.

And right now, it is pretty much all bad news. The flu outbreak is high or intense in every state except Connecticut.

You can see that Arizona is marked in a severe red.

State health officials say that they're seeing a 4,000 percent increase in cases of the flu over last season.

You can check out specific cities, too. Tucson shows up on the map as having a high number of flu-related searches.

The Center for Disease Control is praising this mapping technology and says it is useful as an early warning indicator for emergency rooms.