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Google searches predict a flu-filled January in Canada

Written by: QMI Agency
Jan. 4, 2013

Google's Flu Trends map of Canada as of January 3, 2013.


Judging by our online searches, we're a sick bunch in Canada these days.

Health Canada's FluWatch reported that cases of influenza surged in December. On Friday, online search engine giant Google agreed, according to its "Flu Trends" search system.

Using a system that compiles and filters our search terms, Google suggests Canadians are experiencing one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, showing a 250% increase in flu activity compared to last year.

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"Not every person who searches for 'flu' is actually sick, but a pattern emerges when all the flu-related search queries are added together," Google says in an explainer of Flu Trends.

January is shaping up to be even more miserable, Google predicts. Its analysis, based on aggregated search data, show flu activity is building across Canada, with Quebec experiencing the highest volume of flu-related searches.

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