Tracking Down Infections

Today, when there is an outbreak of disease, the first reports of it are likely to be online, through Facebook or Twitter. And as word in cyberspace goes viral, it can map closely to the spread of the actual virus in the physical world. That’s the conclusion of NYU researcher Rumi Chunara (BS ’04), whose paper analyzing Twitter and other online activity surrounding the 2010 outbreak of cholera in Haiti made waves in the public health world.

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