Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine flu chatter has been criss-crossing the Internet

Swine flu chatter has been criss-crossing the Internet as the global
spread of the virus became the hottest subject at micro-blogging
service Twitter.

By Tuesday afternoon, Google's trend-tracking website rated swine flu
a "spicy" Internet search topic due to a sudden spike in interest that
earned it a spot in a Top 10 online Hot Trends list.

Meanwhile, a Google Flu website designed to use search query data to
map the spread of influenza virus in the United States indicated the
respiratory illness did not appear to be spreading rampantly there.

"Current estimates of flu activity are still generally low across the
United States, as is expected given the confirmed swine flu case
count," said in a message atop its Flu Trends home page.

Google's Flu Trends map indicated that influenza activity was "low" in
all US states except Hawaii, where activity was rated as "high."

"Hawaii is a challenging model, but we aren't terribly surprised that
it's marked 'high' on Flu Trends," said in response to a
French news agency inquiry.

"The state government says they tend to see flu year-round because of
the tropical climate and tourist populations."

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