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Scientists can predict disease spreading with Wikipedia help


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While Google could not accurately track this influence using search analysis, a team of researchers tells us that they can predict the spread of disease using Wikipedia data.

In a study published in PLoS Computational Biology, researchers at the Defense Systems and Analysis Divisions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory explain how there are health data in Wikipedia that can predict the spread of disease.

They will test the data in Wikipedia and compare them to a conventional data source: World Health Organization incidents reporting. By comparison, they will be able to develop a model that "translates" Wikipedia edits into disease incidents around the world. They will also be able to predict dengue fever in Brazil and its influence in the US 28 days after the first appearance. The technique to be tested is not perfect: it failed to predict a pandemic of tuberculosis in China.

"The purpose of this study is to monitor disease and develop a data prediction and free source code system."

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