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Keywords:

  • Digital disease detection;
  • digital epidemiology;
  • electronic surveillance;
  • epidemic intelligence ;
  • event-based surveillance;
  • Internet-based surveillance;
  • participatory epidemiology;
  • web-based text mining

Abstract

Internet biosurveillance utilizes unstructured data from diverse web-based sources to provide early warning and situational awareness of public health threats. The scope of source coverage ranges from local media in the vernacular to international media in widely read languages. Internet biosurveillance is a timely modality that is available to government and public health officials, healthcare workers, and the public and private sector, serving as a real-time complementary approach to traditional indicator-based public health disease surveillance methods. Internet biosurveillance also supports the broader activity of epidemic intelligence. This overview covers the current state of the field of Internet biosurveillance, and provides a perspective on the future of the field.