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It's Flu Season - Tracking the Spread of Flu with Google Flu Trends

With flu and flu-like illness gripping Canada this winter season everyone is taking precautions and the public is being provided with regular updates on the number of reported flu cases in hopes of helping to stop the spread of this disease.

Most Public Health Agencies provide updates on the estimated number of flu cases on a weekly basis.  For our COLD-FX users and like-minded individuals who are seeking real-time information, there is a great tool provided by Google that provides daily updates on flu trends.  This will allow you to be in the know of when others around you are suffering from the flu.

How Google Flu Trends Works

Google has found that tracking the number of times flu and flu related terms are searched is a good real-time indicator of which areas - or in this case, provinces - are the most at-risk for the spread of the virus.

Respectively this works for other health concerns as well, for example, during allergy season (typically spring and fall), Google will see a sharp rise in searches for histamine response. Also in the summer, there will be more searches for sunburns; and unfortunately, Google searches for the flu and flu vaccines are very prevalent during the winter months.

For Canada, Google has validated their Flu Trends by comparing their data against historical data from the Public Health Agency of Canada.   

Canadian Flu Trends - province by province

Google ranks their flu trends by Minimal, Low, Moderate, High or Intense.

At the time of writing this article, the coastal regions of British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Manitoba are all under high alert, and are on the verge of drifting into an intense state. New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan are all under a high alert, but are not threatened to go into intense levels. In conclusion, all of the provinces in Canada are experiencing
high levels of flu activity – which means Canada as a whole is under a flu alert.

Please take precautions to keep you and your family from being infected by the flu virus that is currently making its way across Canada. 

A Message from COLD-FX

At COLD-FX, we know that the flu can really wipe you out, so taking steps to prevent the spread of germs and viruses is critical to good health.  Make sure to wash your hands often, especially before eating and after touching common surfaces. Adding COLD-FX to your daily routine has also been clinically proven to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. For more information click here.

Source: Google.Org Flu Trends


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