Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news

Ananth Balashankar, Aashish Dugar, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Samuel Fraiberger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Disease surveillance is critical for mobilizing health care resources and deciding on isolation measures to contain the spread of infectious diseases. Because ground truth signals of rare and deadly diseases are sparse, it can be useful to enrich surveillance systems using measures of social and environmental factors which are known to influence the spread of a disease. One approach to measure such factors is by using real time news streams. In this study, we model the epidemiological transmission of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) disease during the outbreak that occurred from 2013 to 2018 in the Arabian peninsula. Using the GDELT news event database, we show that conflict related signals allow us to reconstruct the time series of newly infected cases per week. This reduces the residual sum of squared errors by a factor of 3.36 as compared to a standard epidemiological model. We also capture interpretable time-sensitive factors which illustrate the importance of using real time news stream to model the evolution of a disease such as MERS and facilitate early and effective policy interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCOMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages272-280
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367141
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019
Event2019 ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies, COMPASS 2019 - Accra, Ghana
Duration: Jul 3 2019Jul 5 2019

Publication series

NameCOMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies

Conference

Conference2019 ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies, COMPASS 2019
CountryGhana
CityAccra
Period7/3/197/5/19

Fingerprint

Pulmonary diseases
Health care
Time series

Keywords

  • Big Data
  • Disease Surveillance
  • News Analytics
  • Sparse Signals
  • Time Series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Balashankar, A., Dugar, A., Subramanian, L., & Fraiberger, S. (2019). Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news. In COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (pp. 272-280). (COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3314344.3332498

Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news. / Balashankar, Ananth; Dugar, Aashish; Subramanian, Lakshminarayanan; Fraiberger, Samuel.

COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2019. p. 272-280 (COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Balashankar, A, Dugar, A, Subramanian, L & Fraiberger, S 2019, Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news. in COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies. COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, pp. 272-280, 2019 ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies, COMPASS 2019, Accra, Ghana, 7/3/19. https://doi.org/10.1145/3314344.3332498
Balashankar A, Dugar A, Subramanian L, Fraiberger S. Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news. In COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. 2019. p. 272-280. (COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies). https://doi.org/10.1145/3314344.3332498
Balashankar, Ananth ; Dugar, Aashish ; Subramanian, Lakshminarayanan ; Fraiberger, Samuel. / Reconstructing the MERS disease outbreak from news. COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2019. pp. 272-280 (COMPASS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies).
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