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And what they found is that there is a connection, with an increase in people searching for information preceding a spike in admissions for flu related illnesses. This has implications for primary health care as keeping an eye on Google Flu Trends could help Emergency Departments prepare more precisely for imminent increases of patients with FLI - flu like illnesses. Traditionally, hospitals rely on pathology departments to screen for the presence of influenza in samples submitted for analysis and this can be a lengthy process: but by monitoring internet activity for influenza related searches, the information obtained can be reviewed on a daily basis. The other significant benefit is that Google is a world wide search engine, and so people who are considering travel to specific parts of the globe can check to see if influenza may be a possible threat to their health in their country of destination, and then take the appropriate precaution of immunization against influenza.
My suggestion to everyone would be to add http://www.google.org/flutrends/ to your bookmark bar, just so that you can see what is happening in your local community and in those areas of the world which you hope to visit in the near future.