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COVID-19 outbreak highlights importance of Food from Thought research project

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits next to a medical face mask and disposable gloves.

As the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, newly published research funded by Food from Thought shows how an infectious disease outbreak can be tracked via social media.

The Assessment of Twitter’s Potential for Outbreak Detection: Avian Influenza Case Study‘ was published in December, in the weeks before it came to the international community’s attention that an avian flu was making people sick in Wuhan, China.

The researchers have since applied their methods to the current COVID-19 outbreak, and they tell CTV News that the amount of data crashed their servers.