gm0n3y. they could be searching for doctors in their area? that's one response, after that i leave you to use your imagination, i know it's hard but try.
This would be nice if i could opt in to get a notice if my area appeared to have an outbreak starting, make sure to get extra vitamin C. though i do wish i could throttle how much information google picks up from me. kinda how i can throttle the "Safety" of my search results.
I wouldn't type "flu" into google if I wanted to find a doctor. My guess, on further consideration, is people looking for flu shots. Of course those would be people that don't have the flu, but it could still be indicative of people around them becoming sick (or it could just be the scare tactics used by the media).
Well the article says "flu related" so they could be searching for webmd or other websites with typical cold symptoms and google is picking that up. in other words google is looking for a lot of keywords, and my guess is they are contrasting it with your normal search history to rule out people who are hypochondriacs.