The "intense" flu wave

google flu us nys alb

Much calmer now.

Google Flu Trends is now breaking out data for a bunch metro areas in the United States -- including the Capital Region. So we pulled the numbers for last flu season and the current one.

The graph above charts flu activity as measured by the Google Flu algorithm. The system characterized that late October peak as "intense" activity.

Google's formula is based on search activity, not actual reported lab or doctors' office data (it appears to do a pretty good job). The New York State Department of Health does track those reports -- and its data roughly match Google's.

Even though the current flu activity level is characterized as "low," it's still probably not a bad idea to get a flu shot. Influenza is hard to predict. This season could be over early -- or there might be another peak ahead. There's plenty of vaccine now available -- and a bunch of opportunities to get the jab.

via @NMessier and TC

Chart data from Google Flu Trends

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