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#Swineflu: Twitter Predicts Swine Flu Outbreak in 2009

Szomszor, M; Kostkova, P; De Quincey, E; (2011) #Swineflu: Twitter Predicts Swine Flu Outbreak in 2009. In: Szomszor, M and Kostkova, P, (eds.) Electronic Healthcare: Third International Conference, eHealth 2010, Casablanca, Morocco, December 13-15, 2010, Revised Selected Papers. (pp. pp. 18-26). Springer: Berlin & Heidelberg, Germany. Green open access

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Abstract

Early warning systems for the identification and tracking of infections disease outbreaks have become an important tool in the field of epidemiology. While government lead initiatives to increase the sharing of surveillance data have improved early detection and control, along with advanced web monitoring and analytics services, the recent swine flu outbreak of 2009 demonstrated the important role social media has and the wealth of data it exposes. In this paper, we present an investigation into Twitter, using around 3 Million tweets gathered between May and December 2009, as a possible source of surveillance data and its feasibility to serve as an early warning system. By performing simple filtering and normalization, we demonstrate that Twitter can serve as a self-reporting tool, and hence, provide indications of increased infection spreading. Our initial findings indicate that Twitter can detect such events up to one week before conventional GP reported surveillance data.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: #Swineflu: Twitter Predicts Swine Flu Outbreak in 2009
Event: 2010 International Conference on Electronic Healthcare (eHealth 2010)
ISBN-13: 9783642236341
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-23635-8_3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23635-8_3
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Epidemic, Intelligence, Twitter, H1N1, Pandemic Flu
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084556
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