Social and news media enable estimation of epidemiological patterns early in the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak

Rumi Chunara, Jason R. Andrews, John S. Brownstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During infectious disease outbreaks, data collected through health institutions and official reporting structures may not be available for weeks, hindering early epidemiologic assessment. By contrast, data from informal media are typically available in near real-time and could provide earlier estimates of epidemic dynamics. We assessed correlation of volume of cholera-related HealthMap news media reports, Twitter postings, and government cholera cases reported in the first 100 days of the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak. Trends in volume of informal sources significantly correlated in time with official case data and was available up to 2 weeks earlier. Estimates of the reproductive number ranged from 1.54 to 6.89 (informal sources) and 1.27 to 3.72 (official sources) during the initial outbreak growth period, and 1.04 to 1.51 (informal) and 1.06 to 1.73 (official) when Hurricane Tomas afflicted Haiti. Informal data can be used complementarily with official data in an outbreak setting to get timely estimates of disease dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

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Cholera
Disease Outbreaks
Haiti
Cyclonic Storms
Health
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Social and news media enable estimation of epidemiological patterns early in the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak. / Chunara, Rumi; Andrews, Jason R.; Brownstein, John S.

In: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 86, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 39-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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