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Digital Surveillance Sensors

This is the documentation of the API for accessing the Digital Surveillance Sensors (sensors) endpoint of the Delphi’s epidemiological data.

General topics not specific to any particular endpoint are discussed in the API overview. Such topics include: contributing, citing, and data licensing.

Delphi’s Digital Surveillance Sensors Data

Note: this repository was built to support modeling and forecasting efforts surrounding seasonal influenza (and dengue). In the current COVID-19 pandemic, syndromic surveillance data, like ILI data (influenza-like illness) through FluView, will likely prove very useful. However, we urge caution to users examining the digital surveillance sensors, like ILI Nearby, Google Flu Trends, etc., during the COVID-19 pandemic, because these were designed to track ILI as driven by seasonal influenza, and were NOT designed to track ILI during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The base URL is:

See this documentation for details on specifying epiweeks, dates, and lists.



Parameter Description Type
epiweeks epiweeks list of epiweeks
locations locations list of region/state labels
names sensor names list of string


  • Names of open sensors (no auth token required): sar3, epic, arch
  • Names of sensors requiring auth token: twtr, gft, ght, ghtj, cdc, quid, wiki


Parameter Description Type
auth sensor authentication tokens (currently restricted to 1); can be global or granular list of string


Field Description Type
result result code: 1 = success, 2 = too many results, -2 = no results integer
epidata list of results array of objects
epidata[].name sensor name string
epidata[].location   string
epidata[].epiweek   integer
epidata[].value   float
message success or error message string

Example URLs

Delphi’s Digital Surveillance SAR3 Sensor on 2020w01 (national)

  "result": 1,
  "epidata": [
      "name": "sar3",
      "location": "nat",
      "epiweek": 202001,
      "value": 6.2407
  "message": "success"

Code Samples

Libraries are available for CoffeeScript, JavaScript, Python, and R. The following samples show how to import the library and fetch national Delphi’s Digital Surveillance SAR3 Sensor data for epiweeks 201940 and 202001-202010 (11 weeks total).

CoffeeScript (in Node.js)

# Import
{Epidata} = require('./delphi_epidata')
# Fetch data
callback = (result, message, epidata) ->
  console.log(result, message, epidata?.length)
Epidata.sensors(callback, ['nat'], ['sar3'], [201940, Epidata.range(202001, 202010)])

JavaScript (in a web browser)

<!-- Imports -->
<script src="jquery.js"></script>
<script src="delphi_epidata.js"></script>
<!-- Fetch data -->
  var callback = function(result, message, epidata) {
    console.log(result, message, epidata != null ? epidata.length : void 0);
  Epidata.sensors(callback, ['nat'], ['sar3'], [201940, Epidata.range(202001, 202010)]);


Optionally install the package using pip(env):

pip install delphi-epidata

Otherwise, place from this repo next to your python script.

# Import
from delphi_epidata import Epidata
# Fetch data
res = Epidata.sensors(['nat'], ['sar3'], [201940, Epidata.range(202001, 202010)])
print(res['result'], res['message'], len(res['epidata']))


# Import
# Fetch data
res <- Epidata$sensors(list('nat'), list('sar3') list(201940, Epidata$range(202001, 202010)))
cat(paste(res$result, res$message, length(res$epidata), "\n"))