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Science Bulletins: Twitter Tracks Cholera Spread in Haiti

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Published on May 14, 2012

In the early stages of an epidemic, access to information about emerging cases is critical for health care workers trying to control the spread of disease. A recent study analyzed data from Twitter to determine if posts to social networks could be useful in tracking contagion. Twitter updates from the first several months of a cholera epidemic in Haiti indicated a growth in cases that matched official reports. Data from informal sources show great potential as a complementary resource for the early containment of infectious diseases.

This latest Human Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Human Origins until June 8, 2012.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.

Related Links

Social and News Media Enable Estimation of Epidemiological Patterns Early in the 2010 Haitian Cholera Outbreak
http://www.ajtmh.org/content/86/1/39....

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Haiti Cholera Outbreak
http://www.cdc.gov/cholera/index.html

World Health Organization: Health Response to the Earthquake in Haiti
http://www.who.int/hac/crises/hti/en/

Cholera Online: A Modern Pandemic in Text and Images
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/cho...

Haitian Ministry of Public Health (Ministére de la Santé Publique et de la Population)
http://www.mspp.gouv.ht/site/index.php

Healthmap
http://www.healthmap.org/en/

Google Flu Trends
http://www.google.org/flutrends/

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