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New research could predict peak flu week

12:11 PM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - There's new research out of Boulder that could affect the way we react to the flu forever.

A scientist from NCAR and her colleague in New York created a flu prediction system. It allows them to forecast when the flu season peaks in cities across the county.

The scientists track flu levels using real-time Google flu trends. Through studying this data, they can track when a city will see peak levels of the flu.

In 2012, they only studied New York, and it was successful. So in 2013, they have been predicting the levels of flu in more than 100 cities, Denver and Colorado Spring are included.

This model is years away from being verified, but scientists say it could change the way we react to the flu.

Scientists don't really know how people will react to having this information. One theory is more people could get vaccinated or people could ignore the flu trends in their community.

Hospitals can use this system to prepare. By knowing when the flu peaks, they can have more flu vaccines on hand for patients or have more doctors on hand to treat patients that have the flu.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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