Online Ebola Tracker Beats WHO to the Punch
Site from Boston hospital provides real-time updates
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2014 1:21 PM CDT
A Nigerian health official uses a thermometer on a worker at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

(Newser) – Those looking to keep track of the Ebola outbreak know it can take days for the World Health Organization to update cases, a source of frustration when it comes to the fast-spreading disease. Which is why an online tool created by Boston Children's Hospital is seeing a spike in visitors of late, reports the Boston Globe. It's an Ebola tracker—part of the site—and it updates occurrences of the disease in real time by factoring in social media, news stories, government websites, doctors' online postings, etc., explains AP.

"The news reports and social media posts aren’t always reliable, but in general they provide an up-to-date sense of what’s happening," says a co-founder of HealthMap, which made its debut in 2006. In fact, the site began getting reports of a "mystery hemorrhagic fever" in Guinea on March 14, nine days before WHO issued its first official report on the Ebola outbreak. (One of the two US patients undergoing treatment in Atlanta says he's getting better.)

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Aug 9, 2014 7:11 PM CDT
Never underestimate power of Internet, isn't that truth.
Ezekiel 25:17
Aug 9, 2014 5:21 PM CDT
I'll be brief. Google uses sophisticated search metrics to do the same thing but for flu to support the CDC. Also if a town all of the sudden gets a pattern of searches for a specific kind of symptom, they forward that to your state's EM director.
Aug 9, 2014 5:21 PM CDT
Online TOBACCO-DRUG TRACKER finds that the tobacco drug KILLS 14,000 addicts and another 1,800 INNOCENT people (who were exposed to TOXIC TOBACCO SMOKE) around the world, EVERY DAY! BAN THE TOBACCO DRUG, NOW! Then, worry about lesser problems like "Ebola." More info. the tobacco-bought-off media doesn't want you to know: