Researchers use Twitter to track flu outbreak

As influenza remains elevated across the U.S., Johns Hopkins builds tracking tool

By , Computerworld |  Unified Communications, Social Networking, Twitter

While the university reported that its flu statistics correlate with the CDC's own findings, researchers noted that they got their results faster. The university, however, did not elaborate.

Social networks in general and Twitter specifically used to be considered online tools that encouraged people to post comments about their favorite sandwiches or how cute their children are. That has changed in the last few years, though.

The microblogging site has become something of a bellwether in politics and pop culture, and a tool for communicating during emergencies and natural disasters and was at the center of political upheaval during the "Arab Spring" uprising in Egypt in 2011.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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