Pinterest’s new vaccine search will offer something rare on social media: facts (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Pinterest’s new vaccine search will offer something rare on social media: facts. “On Wednesday, Pinterest announced a new step in its efforts to combat health misinformation on its platform: users will be able to search for 200 terms related to vaccines, but the results displayed will come from major public health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Vaccine Safety Net.”

AAFP: New Online Tool Lets FPs Review Data on Disease Outbreaks

AAFP: New Online Tool Lets FPs Review Data on Disease Outbreaks . “The CDC has unveiled a new online data tool(wwwn.cdc.gov) that allows users to search through almost two decades of information collected on various types of enteric disease outbreaks in the United States. The so-called NORS Dashboard, launched March 12, provides family physicians and other interested parties with expanded access to disease outbreak data from the National Outbreak Reporting System.” The lead paragraph doesn’t make it clear, but it appears that the information system is available to everybody.

Coindesk: Centers for Disease Control to Launch First Blockchain Test on Disaster Relief

Coindesk: Centers for Disease Control to Launch First Blockchain Test on Disaster Relief. “For public health practitioners, the ability to quickly collect, analyze and take action on data is paramount to containing the spread of a deadly new virus or disease. But despite the advent of big data technologies, collecting this information today remains a highly cumbersome and time-consuming process, explains Jim Nasr, chief software architect at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tasked with combating the spread of preventive and chronic disease. Now in search of a better solution, Nasr is eyeing a blockchain proof-of-concept he believes could facilitate the more rapid and reliable capture of epidemiological data in crisis situations.”

Digital Trends: How The CDC Uses Google, AI, And Even Twitter To Forecast Flu Outbreaks

Digital Trends: How The CDC Uses Google, AI, And Even Twitter To Forecast Flu Outbreaks. “As summer gives way to fall, flu season is about to be upon us. Proper preparation is essential if there’s to be enough medical professionals and vaccinations to go around. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention play a huge role in making sure practices and hospitals around the country know what to expect.”

AIDS. gov: New Options Available to Visualize CDC Data

From the AIDS.gov blog: New Options Available to Visualize CDC Data. “Now, we have launched CDC’s NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. This update has significant enhancements that empower users to explore 2015 HIV, STD, and TB data at the national, state, or county level. They can easily access 2014 data for hepatitis as well. Disease rates can be analyzed by demographic variables, transmission categories, year, and trends over time. In this new version, users can create 2 side-by-side maps or charts, e.g., state-level maps can compare HIV diagnoses among White and African American MSM.”

CDC Launches New Site to Track Algal Blooms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a new site to track algal blooms. “The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) will collect data on harmful algal blooms and associated human and animal illness. CDC encourages state and territorial public health agencies to use this voluntary system to report harmful algal blooms and associated illness. The new website provides information on how to recognize these blooms and what people can do to protect themselves, their families, and their pets.” Note that it’s a voluntary system, and until it becomes more widely used won’t be anywhere near complete.

CDC Research: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter

Research from the CDC: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter (say THAT three times fast.) “From the full stream of tweets posted on Twitter from April 12, 2014, to May 10, 2014 (approximately 14.5 billion tweets), all tweets containing the terms hookah, hooka, shisha, or sheesha were collected (n = 358,523). The hookah tweets from Twitter users (tweeters) with high influence and followers were identified (n = 39,824) and a random sample of 5,000 tweets was taken (13% of tweets with high influence and followers). The sample of tweets was qualitatively coded for normalization (ie, makes hookah smoking seem common and normal or portrays positive experiences with smoking hookah) or discouragement of hookah smoking, and other common themes using crowdsourcing…. Approximately 87% of the sample of tweets normalized hookah use, and 7% were against hookah or discouraged its use. Nearly half (46%) of tweets that normalized hookah indicated that the tweeter was smoking […]