Traditionally, epidemiologists have counted cases and groups of symptoms. Modeling on these data consists of predicting expansion or contraction in the number of cases over time in epidemic curves or compartment models. Geography is considered a variable when these data are presented in choropleth maps. These approaches have significant drawbacks if the cases counted are not accurately diagnosed. For example, most regional public health authorities count influenza like illnesses (ILI). Cases of these diseases are designated as ILI if the patient exhibits fever, respiratory symptoms, and perhaps gastrointestinal symptoms. Several molecular epidemiological studies have shown that there are many pathogens that cause these symptoms and the relative proportions of these pathogens change over time and space. One way to bridge the gap between syndromic and genetic surveillance of infectious diseases is to compare signals of symptoms to pathogens recorded in molecular databases. We present a web-based workflow application that uses chief complaints found in the public Twitter feed as a syndromic surveillance tool and connects outbreak signals in these data to pathogens historically known to circulate in the same area. For the pathogen(s) of interest, we provide Genbank links to metadata and sequences in a workflow for phylogeographic analysis and visualization. The visualizations provide information on the geographic traffic of the spread of the pathogens and places that are hubs for their transport.
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