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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/.