Modeling Influenza by Modulating Flu Awareness
It is important for public health officials to follow both the incidence of disease and the public’s perception of it, especially in the Internet-connected age. In the specific context of influenza, disease surveillance through social media has proven effective, but public awareness of influenza and its effects are not well understood. We build upon the existing Epstein model of coupled contagion with the aim of including modern media mechanisms for awareness transmission. Our agent-based model captures the unique effects of news media and social media on disease dynamics, and suggests potential areas for policy intervention to modulate the spread of the flu.
KeywordsAgent-based modeling Influenza Awareness Coupled contagion Surveillance
The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Mark Dredze for allowing us access to the HealthTweets awareness trends, and Dr. Joshua Epstein for helpful feedback.
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