Flu Trends and Shots

Flu Trends and Shots

What are your chances of getting the flu this season?  It’s the sort of question many of us think about this time of year.  Being the geek that I am, I like to look at Google Flu Trends.  They have a graph of reported flu activity, based on Google searches.  They’ve found that certain searches can be a good indicator of actual flu activity.

One thing that I find interesting about their data is that they have a graph of flu activity by month since 2006.   You can look at the graphs for the whole country, or on a state by state basis.  Connecticut seems to fairly closely track the national average and the past two years have been fairly mild.

The graphs tend to peak around February.  However, in the 2009-2010 flu season the flu was particularly intense towards the end of October.  This year, flu activity is the most intense for this time of year over the past six years, with the exception of the 2009-2010 flu season.  Will it continue this way?  Will we see an intense flu outbreak towards the end of the month?

We can’t tell for sure, but we can be prepared.  We can get our flu shots now.  CHC is having flu clinics at all its sites.  In most cases, you can get in, get your flu shot, and be on your way in less than five minutes.

Let’s see if we can correct the trend, at least for Connecticut, and have more flu vaccinations and less actual cases of the flu this year.

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