Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/28/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Social networking sites could provide bio-surveillance to map out epidemics

If you're one of the types of people who report their every single movement on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you may have recently posted a health update such as this: "I finally got the flu." "I'm out sick." "Darn this head cold!" In doing so, you may have played a part in a new trend, "bio-surveillance," which may prove helpful in mapping flu epidemics.

As this map of flu cases in the U.S. demonstrates, the influenza epidemic hit the eastern seaboard of the United States particularly hard.

As this map of flu cases in the U.S. demonstrates, the influenza epidemic hit the eastern seaboard of the United States particularly hard.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/28/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Facebook, Twitter, influenza epidemic, bio-surveillance, tweets, colds. Sickweather


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The future of predicting flu outbreaks as well as managing the treatment of epidemics may soon be through social media such as Twitter. A small start up, called Sickweather declared the beginning of flu season before the Centers for Disease Control.

The Baltimore-based firm claims that members of the public that tweet and post to Facebook about their illness allowed them to declare the new influenza outbreak had hit the U.S. on October 18th.

The Centers for Disease Control somewhat belatedly warned that the outbreak was getting off to its earliest start on December 3rd. This prediction was still six weeks after Sickweather.

Founder Graham Dodge found that social media reports of the flue spiked 77 percent between August and October.

And while an increase in the number of those out sick is normal during that time period, the numbers found by Sickweather were 30 percent up from the previous year.

An independent technology firm declares the beginning of the dreaded flu season is still probably years away. Sickweather itself almost jokingly mentioned their discovery with the tweet, "Oh, hello #flu, you're a little early this year: sick.io/ksxfm."

Technology watchers though, have called the development interesting as social media sickness mentions are one of the few signals that can be tracked in real time as doctors attempt to understand how a sickness moves.

Search engine giant Google uses its Google Flu Trends app -- but does not make specific announcements about the flu season.

Sickweather has joined the growing trend in using social media to track public health trends.

Accenture Federal Services announced in November it had received a $3 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to create a so-called "bio-surveillance" system.

The system will allow the Office of Health Affairs to monitor and respond to national health emergencies through Internet social media, enabling the OHA to collect and analyze social media platforms for information to "detect and respond to potential threats to national health security."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Technology

New fossils may prove that mammals existed alongside dinosaurs Watch

Image of New fossils of early, squirrel-like mammals, found in China, have shown that mammals may have existed early then previously thought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fossils of three early mammalian species from over 200 million years ago suggests that dinosaurs and mammals did coexist on the Earth earlier than previously thought. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossils of the squirrel-like creatures were discovered in ... continue reading


Make way for the 'Phablet:' Apple hopes to recapture trendsetters with world's first 'smartwatch' Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the Apple Watch during a special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts this week.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The way of the future...is "phablets," which combines both features of smartphones and tablets. Apple, hoping to usurp the high tech throne from Asian rival Samsung will announce their first ever "smartwatch" along with two large-screen versions of the iPhone ... continue reading


British researchers may have just found the cure for multiple sclerosis! Watch

Image of A new study by researchers from Bristol University may have found a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that scientists may have discovered a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes by retraining the immune system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study was ... continue reading


Futuristic, super-fast sports car runs on saltwater Watch

Image of A four-seater, the car's 22-inch wheels sit just beneath impressive double gull-wing doors, in the manner of the classic DeLorean, that feature

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine, if you will - in the words of the late, great Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame - a futuristic sports car that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds - that runs entirely on saltwater. While sports cars are not known for ... continue reading


Scientists put out international plea to help figure out purpose of cellular protein 'blobs' Watch

Image of Scientists are stepping up attempts at understanding the purpose of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists in the U.S. are calling on the scientific community to up their efforts to determine the purpose and function of mysterious blobs in cells that have eluded understanding since they were first discovered 50 years ago. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter