BUSINESS
12/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Google Flu Trends - ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

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Google knows that you might do something like that, and it also knows which U.S. state you're in. Now, it's putting that information together in a tool that Google says could detect flu outbreaks faster than traditional systems currently in use.

Google's new public health initiative, Google Flu Trends, looks at the relative popularity of a slew of flu-related search terms to determine where in the U.S. flu outbreaks may be occurring.

"What's exciting about Flu Trends is that it lets anybody -- epidemiologists, health officials, moms with sick children -- learn about the current flu activity level in their own state based on data that's coming in this week," said Jeremy Ginsberg, the lead engineer who developed the site.

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