Micro-blogging via Twitter is being evaluated as a means for tracking infectious diseases. The 2009 outbreak of H1N1 provided them an opportunity for testing Twitter as an approach for tracking disease outbreaks. From the end of April, researchers at the University of Iowa began collecting Twitter messages, or "tweets," based on their containing one or another H1N1-related search term. They plotted those tweets on a world map, chronicling the response of the Twitter community to the emergence of the H1N1 outbreak in Mexico and its subsequent spread. This interview accompanies the article "Monitoring Hand Hygiene, Infectious Diseases with Phone Apps, Twitter" from the February 2010 issue of Microbe magazine.
For additional information, visit the website of the UI Computational Epidemiology Group (http://vinci.cs.uiowa.edu/index.php/Main/Home).