Swine flu fears send CDC.gov traffic soaring

May 14, 2009
Disposable surgical masks are packed in boxes on May 3, 2009. Traffic to the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention soared in April as Americans searched the Internet for information about swine flu, research firm comScore said Thursday.

Traffic to the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention soared in April as Americans searched the Internet for information about swine flu, research firm comScore said Thursday.

ComScore said the number of unique US visitors to CDC.gov rose by 142 percent in April compared with the previous month to 5.7 million.

"When news of the swine flu pandemic erupted, many Americans turned to the Internet as their primary source of information for how to keep themselves and their families safe," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.

ComScore said social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace saw a record number of visitors in April and hot micro-blogging service Twitter continued its remarkable growth.

The number of unique visitors to Twitter increased by 83 percent in April compared with the previous month to 17 million, comScore said.

Overall, the category grew 12 percent to nearly 140 million visitors in April, the digital research firm said.

It said led the category with 71 million visitors, followed by with 67.5 million visitors, an increase of 10 percent from the previous month. Twitter was next.

ComScore said sites operated by were the most visited properties in April with more than 155 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! sites with 149 million visitors and Microsoft sites with 126.5 million visitors.

(c) 2009 AFP

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