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New York Times Examines Evolving Role Of Social Media In Disease Tracking Efforts

The New York Times examines how social media is changing efforts to monitor the spread of diseases. According to the article, “technology is democratizing the disease-hunting process, upsetting the old equilibrium by connecting people through channels effectively outside government control. While the online chatter can be unproductive or even dangerous – spreading fear along with misinformation about causes and cures – a growing cadre of epidemiologists sees social media as a boon. Future hunts for pathogens may rely as heavily on Twitter streams and odd clusters of search queries as on blood tests and personal histories” (Garrity, 6/13).