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Online Flu Tracker

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There is a new tool out there to help you during flu season, Google.  The popular search engine is using online searches to help the CDC.

Data collected by the company shows a sick patient's first attempt at finding relief is changing.   Rather than immediately scheduling a doctor's appointment, They first search the terms "flu symptoms" on the web.  

Google decided to analyze flu search data and give the results to the CDC.  Experts say last year their data picked up on a flu outbreak in the Mid-Atlantic two weeks before the CDC reported it. 

The website will feature a map of the country with each state's flu activity as well as graphs showing recent flu trends. 

Public health officials say they're not sure this data is any better than what they find in E.R. records but it could help accelerate a response to flu outbreaks.