Find file
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
165 lines (132 sloc) 18.5 KB

AboutAbstractQuestionsSee also

Data sharing in public health emergencies

1854: Cholera2005: H5N12005: Hurricane Katrina2009: H1N12010: Haiti earthquake2011: Tōhoku earthquake2011: E. coli O104:H42013: Typhoon Hiyan2015: Ebola2016: ZikaFuture?

1854: Cholera, London

Map of 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak

John Snow's original map of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London. Cholera cases are highlighted in black, as are water pumps (data available here). The pump on Broad Street was identified as the one through which the contaiminated water was distributed. Removing its handle then essentially stopped the outbreak, and when the next Cholera outbreak hit London in 1866, sanitary measures had been improved.

Global spread of H5N1 in 2005

  • Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID)

Hurricane Katrina (2005)

2009 H1N1 pandemic

  • PLOS Currents: Influenza was started: "The key goal of PLoS: Currents is to accelerate scientific discovery by allowing researchers to share their latest findings and ideas immediately with the world's scientific and medical communities."

2010 Haiti earthquake

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak

EHEC outbreak stats

Typhoon Haiyan (2013)

A set of three poster maps printed in response to the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan based on data from OpenStreetMap: Three maps of the Philippines

Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa

Zika virus outbreak

Using and reusing data




This file hosts my "slide" for a talk for the International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance (IMED 2016), which took place on 4-7 November, 2016, in Vienna, Austria. It was submitted as an abstract to the "Public communication of outbreaks and emerging diseases" track on July 10 and received the abstract number 1124 in their system. On August 17, the abstract was accepted for the poster session. Upon confirming my attendance on September 16, I requested whether this contribution could be turned into a talk, and this was granted on September 18.

The talk then became part of the session "Innovative Approaches to Emerging Disease Surveillance" at 8.30-10.30am on Monday, November 7, in Room Klimt 2&3.


Data sharing in public health emergencies



Public health emergencies caused by emerging diseases pose special challenges in terms of gathering relevant information and making it available to the research and public health communities as well as the public more broadly. In response, a growing number of initiatives are focusing on the role of data sharing under these circumstances.

Methods & Materials

In this contribution, I am reviewing existing efforts around data sharing in recent public health emergencies from around the globe, focusing on cases where emerging diseases played a major role, as in the ongoing Zika virus outbreak.

The underlying project is conducted by way of open notebook science that can be followed and contributed to via .


Data sharing can increase the speed of responses to emerging diseases. It may also affect the quality, the nature or the range of the responses and other variables. Conversely, a lack of adequate data sharing may pose a considerable barrier to effective responses.


Data sharing is becoming an important aspect of responses to public health emergencies, and strategies for communicating outbreaks and emerging diseases are evolving around this notion, complementing traditional means of research and public health communication with faster, more transparent, more collaborative and more responsive channels.


  • Zika virus outbreak
  • Ebola virus outbreak
  • E. coli O104:H4 outbreak


The submission process had two mandatory affirmations:

Copyright (mandatory) By submission of this abstract I hereby confer the copyright for conference publication of all text and tables in this abstract to the organizers of the IMED 2016

Authors confirmation (mandatory) I hereby confirm, that all authors mentioned in the author block of this abstract have been informed about, and agreed to this submission.

I actually object to the transfer of copyright to the IMED organizers (and will try to submit without that statement clicked), but since my copy here is available earlier and under CC0, there should in practice be no hurdle in terms of reuse of this text by others. In any case, this is work for the US government and as such not copyrightable in the US.

Update: they would indeed not let me submit the abstract without that confirmation. So I opted for submitting, took some screenshots in the process and sent them an email expressing my dissent with that point.

See also