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chicken pox

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Vaccine waiver rates for school-age children have increased slightly in Michigan.

The Detroit News reports that Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2% of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1% the year before.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

According to a new report, Google Trends can not only tell you about the latest celebrity news, but also if there’s a chicken pox outbreak.

Kevin Bakker has been pouring over a decade’s worth of Google Trends data.   He’s a doctoral student in the UM Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

He wanted to see what it told him about chicken pox.  Or more precisely, what parents were asking about the disease.  

Bakker noticed that those Google searches declined sharply, after government-mandated vaccination programs started.