Here’s my question:
- Is all of the media coverage on H1N1 influencing Flu Trends to report more activity than exists?
In the past, I’ve found Flu Trends to be pretty accurate, and a decent indicator of when I should start really watching out for flu-like symptoms, or redouble my hand-washing efforts, or stock up on soup.
This year? Not so much. Look at today’s snapshot:
I have not seen “high” flu activity where I live. But – I have seen plenty of news stories, fliers, ads, and other flu-related things. Does this increase in terms (which Flu Trends uses to determine activity levels) match reality?
So far, I’d say no. I’m hopeful that Flu Trends either finds a way to filter this input out, or people realize that H1N1 is really no worse/different/dangerous/etc. than the regular seasonal flu. It’s true – virology professors say so:
As far as I know, the 2009 H1N1 strain has so far likely infected millions of people, and most have concluded that the disease is no more severe than seasonal influenza. I agree that the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus does seem to multiply more extensively in the respiratory tract than a seasonal H1N1 strain, as does the 1918 virus.
Let’s hope that I make it flu-free until February. After that, it becomes luck of the draw, I’ve determined. I mean – look at the trends!