You may remember that we launched Google Dengue Trends earlier this year. Like Google Flu Trends, Google Dengue Trends uses aggregated search data to measure disease in countries around the world. Today we’re adding 5 new countries to Google Dengue Trends: Argentina, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, and Venezuela. This brings our grand total to 10 countries where we provide dengue estimates in near-real time based on search activity.
In addition to country level estimates, for both Argentina and Mexico we’re able to offer some state level estimates, as well. And all data is freely available for download from the website. The models we’ve built for these countries are “experimental,” which means they have not been officially validated against health ministry dengue data for these countries. When and where possible, we will officially validate models in comparison against confirmed publicly available dengue data.
It can take weeks and months to collect dengue data through traditional surveillance mechanisms, and it’s our hope that the timely information (updated daily!) from Google Dengue Trends will be useful to public health authorities and individuals around the world as an earlier indicator of disease activity and a complement to existing surveillance systems. The sooner you know that there are dengue-spreading mosquitoes in action near you, the sooner you can take steps to prevent infection.