This is the question that many are asking themselves as they peruse through sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tinder and the likes. Of course the answer is no but what if I were to tell you that you could be made more aware of potential contagious outbreaks in your local area. That’s right this social media phenomenon is not just for the Forbes top 15 or 20 companies, but in fact the federal government has plans to make you more aware by using alternative methods.
For example, “Whooping cough first sickened the Illinois high school cheerleaders, then it struck the football players, the cross-country team and the band.
As it spread within the Chicago suburb of McHenry County in late 2011, another outbreak took place — on social media. A small business called Sickweather LLC said it detected the online flare-up onTwitter Inc. (TWTR) and Facebook Inc. (FB) postings in early October that year. That’s about two weeks before local health officials issued a public statement.” Bloomberg.com (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/disease-outbreak-warnings-via-social-media-sought-by-u-s-.html)
U.S. agencies alongside the U.S. government would like to expand their current uses of social media in helping track and alert individuals of outbreaks through social media. Could your town be next?