In search of better flu forecasting

In search of better flu forecastingBy Dian Schaffhauser Dec 21, 2016 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its weekly flu forecasts for the 2016-2017 season on FluSight, a beta website housing influenza activity forecasts provided by 21 research teams. The research initiative was begun by the CDC in 2013. “Predict the Influenza Season Challenge” is a public contest to encourage people from around the world to predict the timing, peak and intensity of each year’s flu seasons using social media data alongside data from the organization’s own flu “surveillance” systems. The latter parses reports describing flu-like symptoms from doctor offices and health clinics. Accurate flu predictions help public health officials and other healthcare professionals schedule their vaccination campaigns, issue flu information and make staffing decisions. Last year,…

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