TechCrunch: Want to know where epidemics are flaring up around the world? Metabiota has the tool for you. “In an effort to inform the public of the health risks breaking out all over the world (or just to scare the bejeezus out of already paranoid people) the startup Metabiota has released a free-to-use epidemic tracker for all of the outbreaks monitored publicly around the world.”
WUSF: USF Launches Measles Simulator For Florida. “A new online measles simulator shows how quickly the disease could spread in Florida. It models the state’s actual population, taken from census data, and considers how people move about the region and interact.”
Science 2.0: Social Media Made The Modern Anti-Vax Movement Popular, But The Tide Is Turning. “Our research lab has spent years tracking the spread of misinformation on social media, including about vaccine safety and effectiveness. Our most recent update of the data has found that pro-vax information and activity is beginning to push back against, and even overtake, anti-vax disinformation.”
Science Daily: Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa . “A new review has outlined how health workers could use existing phones to predict and curb the spread of infectious diseases. The review, published in Nature, outlines how healthcare workers in low-income countries, like those in sub-Saharan Africa, could use existing smartphones to diagnose, track and control infectious diseases in low-income countries.”
BuzzFeed News: Here’s How One Of Facebook’s Biggest Anti-Vax Communities Built Its Massive Network. “While Facebook is mulling over exactly how to combat a topic as complex and emotional as the anti-vaccination misinformation, members of its community continue to use the site’s tools to promote themselves. For a clear look at how this simple, ad-driven feedback loop works, let’s take a look at ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccination,’ one of the more prolific Facebook communities for anti-vaxxers.”
BloombergQuint: Lawmaker Questions Google and Facebook About Anti-Vaccine Information. “Democratic Representative Adam Schiff sent a letter to Google LLC Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, expressing concern that their platforms are carrying information discouraging parents from vaccinating their children.”
The Guardian: Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups. “Facebook is under pressure to stem the rise of anti-vaccination groups spreading false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while peddling unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin C. So-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.” Interestingly I just found this notice in my Maine.gov RSS feed about fake anti-vaccine flyers purportedly coming from the CDC.