Google Dengue Trends in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Singapore is introduced today and provides an additional surveillance tool for a disease that affects about 100 million people each year.
The methodology for this system is the same as that for Google Flu Trends and is outlined in a newly published article in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The aim of Google Dengue Trends is to provide an early warning to help health officials and the public prepare for potential dengue outbreaks.
“Singapore has an impressively timely surveillance system for dengue, but in many countries it can take weeks or months for dengue case data to be collected, analyzed and made available.[…]Using the dengue case count data provided by Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization, we’re able to build a model that offers near real-time estimates of dengue activity based on the popularity of certain search terms.”
Google Dengue Trends is automatically updated every day, thereby providing an early indicator of dengue activity,” Google added.
[Source: Google.org blog]