Disease outbreaks trackable with Twitter, BYU study says

by | Jan. 23, 2013

Everything Else

This flu season you’ve probably seen a number of friends on social media talking about symptoms.

New research from Brigham Young University says such posts on Twitter could actually be helpful to health officials looking for a head start on outbreaks.

The study sampled 24 million tweets from 10 million unique users. They determined that accurate location information is available for about 15 percent of tweets (gathered from user profiles and tweets that contain GPS data). That’s likely a critical mass for an early-warning system that could monitor terms like “fever,” “flu” and “coughing” in a city or state.

Read the rest of this story at news.byu.edu
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