iTrend analytics may help understand Ebola

iTrend analytics may help understand Ebola

The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has now claimed more than 4,000 lives. A recent BBC article, Ebola: Can big data analytics help contain its spread? says a growing number of data scientists agree that big data analytics may help to contain the virus.

Big data analytics is about bringing together many different data sources and mining them to find patterns. In the digital age, tracking the movement of potentially infected people is a lot easier. iTrend’s innovative software shows real time data.

A keyword search of Ebola for the past seven days shows that nearly 5 million people mentioned it on Twitter, with over 2 million links shared.

As you can see on the places heat map report below we are able to see where people are talking about Ebola in real time. Not surprisingly, many are in the Dallas area.

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Against United Nations security advice, Dr. Clement travelled 12 hours over dirt roads to Lofa, near the Guinea border. Once there, he walked into the hostile communities and went straight to the chiefs. “In many years, you have not fought with these people,” he told them. “Now you attack them. They are not the enemy, Ebola is the enemy. If we don’t chase Ebola, it will kill us. You have to know Ebola to fight Ebola. Mobilize your people. Let’s get to know Ebola.”

Dr. Clement said the key to working with a hostile community is listening first. So he patiently listened to the community to understand their fears, then he started to explain about the virus and how people can prevent from getting infected. Once they knew what Ebola was and how to stop it, they declared together: “No more Ebola in our community from today.”

Immediately, the people living in the community came up with their own plan that spread to all the households. They said:

  • Ebola is a disease, not a curse, not a government plot.
  • Those that are sick must go to the MSF clinic in Foya.
  • No one can bury their loved ones anymore. Effective immediately they would call the people who do it safely.
  • Although they are a very friendly people, there would be no more physical contact when greeting one another.

Also see more Ebola news from the World Health Organization: Are the Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal over?

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Posted in Analysis, health, Technology

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