Last month, I blogged about the use of twitter to push out information about emergency alerts and general preparedness information by a number of official (governmental and non-governmental organization) sources such as FEMA, CDC, the Red Cross and others.
Today, the utility of twitter to push out current and accurate information about emergencies has been proven in my mind, by the excellent coverage of the H1N1 / Swine Flu outbreak on twitter.
So much so that it prompted me to apply a new theme to this blog to add a third column, such that I could post twitter feeds from some of the best sources of information about the H1N1 / Swine Flu pandemic on this site. Check them out on the left. The latest five tweets from government sources, non-governmental organizations and a couple of the better media sources listed below will be posted on this site.
I also set up a twitter account called LP_SwineFlu to follow the feeds I’ve found to be reputable and reliable sources of information about the H1N1 / Swine Flu outbreak, but have yet to find a way to combine those into a single public feed I could post on this site (twitter requires login authorization to view the RSS feed of an accounts tweets plus tweets of those it is following). I would appreciate any solutions others have found to this. If there was an auto-retweet bot (discussed by seemingly unavailable) – that would solve 95% of the problem.
Until then, I’ve selected some of the best feeds to put on this site.
Essential Sources of H1N1 Information:
whonews – from the World Health Organization. WHO news releases related to H1N1 / Swine Flu as well as general public health information news and information are being tweeted here.
CDCemergency – from the Centers for Disease Control Emergency Preparedness and Response division – this feed is providing the most regular updates from CDC.
CDC_eHealth – from the Centers for Disease Control interactive media group – provides links to videos and podcasts related to H1N1 / Swine Flu as well as general public health information.
CDCFlu – from the Centers for Disease Control -general flu public information feed on prevention & vaccination; supposed to be providing updates from CDC Swine Flu RSS feed but is not yet actively posting H1N1 updates.
Non-Governmental Organization Sources:
Veratect – A private company that is providing the earliest detection of new information on H1N1 / Swine flu. This feed provides real-time output on the swine flu situation translated by their two operations centers from 37 languages globally. This feed is providing some of the best, most accurate and up-to-date information about confirmed and suspected cases of H1N1 globally.
Healthmap – a public website bringing together disparate data sources (these are the tweets) to achieve a unified view of the current global state of infectious disease. Check out their swine flu map – it’s better than the google mashup I posted earlier.
News Organizations Sources:
BreakingNews – the best source on twitter period for accurate global breaking news events coverage. Anazingly accurate and always minutes, hours and sometimes days ahead of other news organizations on breaking news.
sanjayguptaCNN – CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta
I would appreciate referrals to any other good sources of H1N1 information on twitter from similar sources. I’m leaving out the private efforts of individuals as it is hard to verify their qualifications; most are reposting news stories from these and other sources.