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Using Tweets to Track and Monitor Flu Outbreaks in U.S. Cities

The methodology we are using to form our flu outbreak tracking and prediction models depends on Twitter and the collection of tweets that include the keyword “flu” in their tweet texts.  Tweets are collected continuously that contain the keyword “flu” using the Twitter Search API from different cities across the United States (chosen based on their population sizes): Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville-Davidson, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.  Our prediction model uses methods and concepts reported in a paper published in October 26, 2013 (Negal et al., 2013).

Nagel AC, Tsou MH, Spitzberg BH, An Li, Gawron JM, Gupta DK, Yang JA, Han Su, Peddecord KM, Lindsay S, Sawyer MH, The Complex Relationship of Realspace Events and Messages in Cyberspace: Case Study of Influenza and Pertussis Using Tweets, J Med Internet Res 2013;15(10):e237.

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