Went away for a few days with my wife and came down with some kind of flu thing everyone we know in Phoenix seems to have.  Temperature, sore throat, coughing, achy joints, headache but fortunately no barfing.  Without the vomiting, I can power through what I have to get done, its just not fun.

I am wondering if the CDC uses social media data to track disease outbreaks.  I have seem Twitter data showing dynamically when such and such event happened by geotagged Twitter traffic.  Be interesting to do that with all tweets with the word "sick".


  1. SB7:

    I heard a talk from a guy at Google a couple of years ago who was doing that, but I don't remember any of the details. I think Microsoft is also doing similar work. No idea if the CDC is on board or not though.

  2. Dan:

    Have you ever read Steven King's The Stand? You coming down with Captain Trips?

  3. wintercow20:

    Warren, I'm a "cry for my mommy" kind of sick fella! And gosh to get sick so near a big birthday! If you are not well, we can figure out a way to reschedule the trip, please let me know.

  4. DK:

    Just heard on radio (NPR?) that CDC uses Google search hit statistics to track flu outbreak trends; such as tracking where people are searching "remedies", "flu symptoms", etc.

  5. IGotBupkis, Nukes 'R' Us:

    Yeah, there's a wealth of potential information out there for use with experimental/statistical analysis waiting to be tapped for the next decade of senior, master's, and doctoral theses.

    I was just reading about how they got permission to use the market event data in "Everquest", a highly popular MMORPG with literally millions of transactions between one hell of a lot of players, and it's a far larger statistical base than is generally available via standard market surveys.

    The possibilities for using various open-access social databases for things have only just been touched on... done properly it need not even be cause for concern regarding privacy issues.

  6. IGotBupkis, Nukes 'R' Us:

    Dan: I have, it's a piece of crap. There's just so many things wrong with it, it's pitiful. There are a vast array of much better apocalyptic science fiction stories out there. For the most part, King needs to stick to writing Horror. When he doesn't write horror, the result usually is pretty horrific.

    Yeah, there's a couple exceptions to that, but not many, and they're short stories, not novels.

  7. blokeinfrance:

    Wow! Facebook might have a use! Who'd'a'thunk'it?

  8. W. C. Taqiyya:

    Coyote, you're usually too normal for me to comment about. But coming down with a mystery ailment is very suggestive. Did you happen to notice chem trails in the sky during your little get away? Ah Ha!

  9. W. C. Taqiyya:

    And I agree, The Stand, kinda sucked.

  10. Fazer Msn:

    That is actually kind of scary. Having our tweets screen because of a desease outbreak is ok, but from our tweets get any kind of realistic information about an outbreak, for me is unrealistic.