Social media for tracking disease outbreaks – fad or way of the future?

The Conversation, 12 October 2016
Author: C Raina MacIntyre
“Infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people every year. Large outbreaks, known as epidemics, are becoming more frequent. And more serious infections have emerged in the past decade than any time previously. The social and economic impacts of epidemics can be severe. We need better surveillance systems to detect epidemics early. But while there is the potential to predict epidemics by mining data of rumours and news reports (rumour surveillance), or clusters of disease symptoms (syndromic surveillance) described by social media users, we’re not quite there yet.”
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