Internet may help track infectious disease outbreaks
Washington, July 8 (ANI): Internet discussion forums, listservs, and online news outlets could be an informative source of information on disease outbreaks, according to researchers from Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.
And they have even launched a real-time, automated data-gathering system called HealthMap to gather, organize and disseminate this online intelligence.
"Web-based electronic information sources can play an important role in early event detection and support situational awareness by providing current, highly local information about outbreaks, even from areas relatively invisible to traditional global public health efforts," said John Brownstein and colleagues from the HealthMap project.
However, information overload and difficulties in distinguishing "signal from noise" pose substantial barriers to fully using this information.
To overcome these problems, the researchers have created the freely accessible HealthMap Project, which they describe as a 'multistream real-time surveillance platform that continually aggregates reports on new and ongoing infectious disease outbreaks.'
These reports are organized and disseminated in a variety of ways, including creating disease maps and 'situational awareness windows.'
Brownstein and colleagues said that ultimately, the use of news media and other non-traditional sources of surveillance data can 'facilitate early outbreak detection, increase public awareness of disease outbreaks prior to their formal recognition, and provide an integrated and contextualized view of global health information.
The study is published in this week's PLoS Medicine. (ANI)
Rajnath Singh honours martyrs on Police Commemoration Day
October 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM
India beefs up security along Nepal border region in wake of Burdwan blast
October 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Diwali celebrations: People light 51,000 lamps in Pune's Shaniwar Wada palace
October 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Fire in firecracker factory kills 13 in Andhra Pradesh
October 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Nepal foreign minister meets Modi to invite him for SAARC meet
October 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Union Cabinet passes ordinance to auction coal blocks
October 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM