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A message to the Content Management working group

We want to thank you all once again for the wonderful contributions you are making to the Resilience Systems.

We are going to take this opportunity to share a few posting highlights, and let you know that in the near future we intend to establish a link to our instruction sets within the Content Management group.

Here are a few posting highlights:

When posting older time-sensitive articles, please remember to adjust the publication date under “Authoring information” / “Authored on”. Doing so will ensure that our material is posted in chronological order according to the article publication dates. Of course if the article is not time-sensitive and is important or just as applicable today as it was on the date of publication, please feel free to use a current publication date. Ideally we would like to have current information towards the top of the Home page.

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Ebola Innovation for Impact - 2015 Data Strengthening, Situational Awareness & Coordination Working Group Sessions


1:00-5:00 pm, July 8, 2015

Manhattan Room, One UN Plaza, Second Floor

44th St. and 1st Ave., New York City


On Wednesday July 8, 2015, an afternoon session will address Ebola response & recovery data strengthening, situational awareness, and coordination.  This working session will be held at U.N. headquarters in New York or a facility nearby from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Following are the proposed elements of the July 8 afternoon session:

1:00 PM           40 mins                        Opening Plenary Session

            An Overview of West Africa’s Current & Emerging Infrastructures

                        Barbara Bentein           UNICEF

                        Juliet Benford               Anthrologica

                        Sara Glass                   USAID, Global Development Lab

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Video - The Story of Ebola

CLICK HERE - Global Health Media - The Story of Ebola - English

June 26, 2015

This animation—produced in collaboration with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, and Yoni Goodman—brings to life key messages that help people see and understand how Ebola spreads and how to protect themselves and their communities.

CLICK HERE - About the film:

The story features a young girl whose grandfather dies from Ebola and puts the rest of her family at risk. The film makes visible the invisible Ebola germs to help people see and understand how Ebola spreads and how to protect themselves. Critical messages are woven through the story so that people better understand Ebola, see themselves within the context of an outbreak, and see how to act in ways that can keep themselves safe from the disease and protect their communities.

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UNICEF Recruits U-Reporters Across Liberia

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Readability of Ebola Information on Websites of Public Health Agencies, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Europe

CDC IED JOURNAL  by    Enrique Castro-Sánchez , Elpiniki Spanoudakis, and Alison H. Holmes    Volume 21, Number 7- July 2015                                          

 Public involvement in efforts to control the current Ebola virus disease epidemic requires understandable information. We reviewed the readability of Ebola information from public health agencies in non–Ebola-affected areas. A substantial proportion of citizens would have difficulty understanding existing information, which would potentially hinder effective health-seeking behaviors....

Several factors, including readability of information provided (8), can help reduce health literacy deficits...It is recommended that health information materials should be written at a level typically understandable by an 11-year-old person ... anxiety or panic attributed to a highly virulent infection, such as Ebola, might hinder comprehension of related information (11).

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Researchers link Ebola news coverage to public panic using Google, Twitter data

EUREAKALERT!                                                  June 15, 2015
(Scroll down for link to PLOS One article.)


Using Twitter and Google search trend data in the wake of the very limited U.S. Ebola outbreak of October 2014, a team of researchers from Arizona State University, Purdue University and Oregon State University have found that news media is extraordinarily effective in creating public panic.

Because only five people were ultimately infected yet Ebola dominated the U.S. media in the weeks after the first imported case, the researchers set out to determine mass media's impact on people's behavior on social media.

"Social media data have been suggested as a way to track the spread of a disease in a population, but there is a problem that in an emerging outbreak people also use social media to express concern about the situation," explains study team leader Sherry Towers of ASU's Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center. "It is hard to separate the two effects in a real outbreak situation...."

Towers states that this study will be useful in future outbreak situations because it provides valuable insight into just how strongly news media can manipulate public emotions on a topic.

Read complete story.

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Infectious Disease Outbreak Response: Legal and Policy Challenges

Commentary on U.S. legal and policy issues raised by the Ebola outbreak

WASHINGTON LAWYER by Sarah Kellog       April, 2015 edition

...Despite knowing that Ebola would likely find its way here (to the U.S.), the public health system was ill-prepared to fight the disease. It was caught napping, unable to swiftly formulate an effective national plan to contain the virus, address the concerns of medical professionals, and calm the public’s mushrooming fears....

The same lack of preparation seemed evident in how government authorities responded and applied public health statutes and regulations, especially at the state and local levels. Legal experts say U.S. public health law is robust enough to address any disease crisis, even one as deadly as Ebola, but the people who administer the law showed a profound ignorance about disease prevention and mitigation, as well as of basic civil rights, in dealing with the Ebola threat.

“Legally, we’re in excellent shape,” says James Hodge, a professor of public health law and ethics at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and a national expert on infectious diseases and the law. “Politically, we’re severely challenged.”

Read complete article.

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How Computer Modelers Took On the Ebola Outbreak

submitted by Sarah Slaughter         


At The Epidemic’s Epicenter: A Liberian child sits in an Ebola isolation ward housing people who might have contracted the contagious disease.  Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Did real-time epidemic modeling save lives in West Africa? - by David Brown - May 28, 2015

. . . “agent-based” models will give a more nuanced picture of how pathogens affect and sicken a population. “This is the wave of the future,” says Stephen Eubank, deputy director of the Virginia Tech lab. “It’s going to take a concerted effort to gather the data and the expertise. But it’s going to happen.”

And so, too, will another Ebola outbreak.


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Strengthening Data Sharing for Public Health

This project aims to develop guidelines on how to create the right environment for public health data sharing and achieve good practice. The project will take these recommendations to key stakeholders within global health to provide support for pushing the established norms for data sharing towards a model where data are shared as openly as is possible and appropriate.


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Mining Ebola tweets yields valuable outbreak information

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY                                                    June 2, 2015
(Scroll down for study.)
Last year, in the 3 days before the outbreak was officially announced, over 60 million people received tweets about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, say the authors of a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control that investigates the useful role that Twitter can play in outbreak monitoring and control.

In the 3 days prior to Nigeria's official announcement about Ebola, Twitter users had already shared around 1,500 tweets about the outbreak....

Social media allow users to play active roles in spreading news. Users can share insights, opinions, fears and ideas, outside the contexts of conventional public health channels.

For their study, two researchers from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York, analyzed Ebola-related tweets posted over a week in the early stages of the West African outbreak - from July 24th to August 1st 2014....

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