Multilingual curation of worldwide outbreaks

A passenger who had taken a Greyhound bus ride to Calgary was found to have a case of tuberculosis and may have put the passengers at risk. He is currently being treated in a hospital. Also, there was a klebsiella pneumonia infection reported of a Swedish patient who had been on holiday in Greece. Further, on February 8th, there was a report of 13 cases of Botulism (one fatal) in the Tyumen Oblast region. The source of infection was apparently a homemade omul dish, prepared from fish that was ineffectively salted. These are just three of hundreds of potential public health concerns reported worldwide through the Healthmap application. Since, I last looked at it, it has expanded its sources of information from ProMED mail and Google News to the WHO, Moreover Technologies, and Eurosurveillance. As before, all information is available through a Google map and it now includes Spanish, French, and Russian versions. The result is one of the better examples of how a decentralized army of paid and unpaid rapporteurs can bring global health awareness to our public officials and to the public without requiring ponderous, extended and often unsuccessful setting of "standards" and standard operating procedures.

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