Nelson, Polgreen Discuss Flu Market

Public-health officials who predict the timing and size of seasonal flu epidemics could learn a trick or two from the Chicago futures market, researchers said. Economics professor FORREST NELSON and medical-school instructor PHILIP POLGREEN of the University of Iowa in Iowa City said they were able to predict the extent of flu outbreaks in Iowa last year by adapting a futures-market model that also has forecast events from presidential elections to the Academy Awards. The study was presented at the Infectious Disease Society of America meeting in San Francisco Thursday.