Both viruses attack the respiratory system and can have similar symptoms. “Something like this is completely unprecedented,” says Alessandro Vespignani, who directs Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. “Having a major pandemic and then trying to get insight on the seasonal flu—it’s a completely new game.”
An international team led by Northeastern’s Alessandro Vespignani has developed a unique computational model that uses Twitter to project the spread of the seasonal flu in real time. With it, public health agencies can plan ahead, allocating medical resources and launching preventative care campaigns.