Tag Archives: Pandemic


Notes on social media, big data and pandemics – by Chiara Fonio & Alessandro Burato

While diseases have historically received a significant amount of attention from the global public health community through the development of impressive surveillance systems, it seems challenging to assess whether big data really make a difference in real-time responses to pandemics. Continue reading


Can the bird catch the worm? – by Alessandro Burato

Ebola is still spreading although it is no more interesting for media as few weeks ago. The last released WHO report counts for 3,341 confirmed cases among Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal and a total of 1,687 deaths [1]. The web is getting overcrowded with different projections of the virus diffusion based on now proved models that however are drawing not always a coherent picture: several variables, such as time, confirmed, probable or suspected cases, official or un-official data are responsible for a variety of estimations and worst-case scenarios. Continue reading


Ebola: is it real? Risk communication under scrutiny – by Alessandro Burato

Everything probably stared with the death of a two years old child on the 6th of December in Guéckédou, Guinea. The cause of the death was an infection with the Ebola virus [1]. Since then, the spread of the pandemic has become “viral” with more than 2.400 suspected or confirmed cases and 1.350 deaths reported by the WHO on the 20th August 2014 [2].

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