Forecasting Zika Incidence in the 2016 Latin America Outbreak Combining Traditional Disease Surveillance with Search, Social Media, and News Report Data

MCGOUGH Sarah F.
BROWNSTEIN John S.
HAWKINS, Jared B.
SANTILLANA Mauricio
et al
Publication Date 
January 2017

"In the absence of access to real-time government-reported Zika case counts, we demonstrate the ability of Internet-based data sources to track the outbreak. Our model predictions fill a critical time-gap in existing Zika surveillance, given that early interventions and real-time surveillance are necessary to curb mosquito transmission. Official Zika case reports will likely continue to be delayed in their release; thus, it is important that health and government officials have access to real-time and future estimates of Zika activity in order to allocate resources according to potential changes in outbreak dynamics. The methodologies presented here may be expanded to any country–and perhaps finer spatial resolutions–to identify changes in Zika transmission for public health decision-makers."

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