’Flu market opens trading
IF this American futures market is booming, you can hold the celebrations because it probably means you’re going to get sick.
Influenza experts came up with a novel way of predicting outbreaks by creating a futures market for influenza activity, borrowing the idea from economists.
Health care workers buy shares if they see an increased number of flu cases and sell if there is a decreased number, making high share prices a key indicator of an upcoming outbreak.
A preliminary test in Iowa proved highly successful, with outbreak activity levels accurately predicted at the end of the week 71 per cent of the time.
The influenza prediction market will be presented in the January 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.