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Abstract - The Utility of Social Media in Communicating with the Public during Emerging Infectious Diseases Crisis: A Systematic Review of Literature
Amit Agrawal, Ankita Gupta


The Utility of Social Media during an Emerging Infectious Diseases Crisis: A Systematic Review of Literature

Amit Agrawal1, Ankita Gupta2

1Department of Pediatrics, Gandhi Medical College & Hamidia Hospital, Bhopal, MP, India

2Public Health Dentistry, Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences, Bhopal, MP, India

These two authors contributed equally to this article



Objectives: The use of social networking sites for monitoring emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are on rise. This systematic review examines the available evidence supporting and refuting the use of social media in communicating with the public during the pandemic outbreaks of infectious disease, influencing people’s behavior, spreading the awareness, and creating or dispelling rumors.

Methods: PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched from 2012 till 2019 for studies on the use of social media in detecting the following EIDs: the Ebola virus, Zika virus, Nipah virus, West Nile, Bird flu and Swine flu. The included studies were evaluated and data were extracted and reviewed.

Results: Preliminary search results showed that out of 6224 articles related to social media and EIDs, 49 articles were related to our study objectives. Out of 49 articles, most of the articles were related to the Zika virus (n=24), published in 2017 (n=15) and utilized the Twitter social media (n=26).

Conclusion: The present systematic review supports the use of social media as an important medium for the clinicians, public health practitioners, and laypeople seeking health information for the detection of EIDs. J Microbiol Infect Dis 2020; 10(4):188-198.

Keywords: Emerging diseases, Infectious diseases, Information technology, Social media


Volume 10, Number 04 (2020)