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Title:Using Twitter for Insights into the 2009 Swine Flu and 2014 Ebola Outbreaks
Author(s):Ahmed, Wasim; Bath, Peter A.; Sbaffi, Laura; Demartini, Gianluca
swine flu
social media
health informatics
Abstract:Infectious disease outbreaks are a global public health risk that have the potential to take many lives in a short amount of time. It is, therefore, important to under-stand the views and thought-processes of the general public when they occur. Social media platforms, originally intended for personal use, have recently been used in academic research for gaining public views and opinions as well as for disease mapping and tracking. Twitter, a widely-used microblogging platform, provides a unique opportunity to study the instant reactions of the public during disease outbreaks. This is because news of such epidemics on Twitter typically generate bursts of tweets. This abstract describes a study that is investigating user views during the peak of the 2009 Swine Flu and the 2014 Ebola outbreaks. Based on Google Trends data, tweets were retrieved from Twitter during a peak in Web search queries. Data were retrieved from a two-day period corresponding to the 2009 Swine Flu and 2014 Ebola outbreaks. A total of 214,784 tweets were retrieved from the two-day period of April 28th and April 29th 2009 for Swine Flu and 181,110 tweets were retrieved from the 29th and 30th September 2014 for Ebola. The study then utilised the data analysis technique of thematic analysis in order to uncover potential similarities and differences between the cases. The re-sults of this study will allow for the creation of guidance that can be disseminated by health authorities during an outbreak.
Issue Date:2018
Series/Report:iConference 2018 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Poster
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 is held by Wasim Ahmed, Peter A. Bath, Laura Sbaffi, Gianluca Demartini. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-07-12

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