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Scientists track flu virus on Wikipedia

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LANL > Team is hoping forecasting measures will help save lives

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have the ability to forecast the upcoming flu season and other infectious diseases by analyzing views of Wikipedia articles.
“The ability to more accurately forecast the flu season and other infectious diseases will transform the way health departments prepare for and respond to epidemics, ultimately saving lives,” scientist Sara Del Valle said.
Del Valle and her team recently published  “Forecasting the 2013-2014 Influenza Season using Wikipedia,” in the Public Library of Science.
“Infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. Because of this, forecasting their impact is crucial for planning an effective response strategy,” Del Valle said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal influenza effects up to 20 percent of people in the United States and causes major economic impacts resulting from hospitalization and absenteeism.


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