The CDC Is Using Twitter to Explain Ebola to the Masses

The health organization is condensing warnings and guidelines into 140-character snippets in a Monday chat.

People read an information sign about Ebola set on a wall of a public health center on July 31 in Monrovia, Liberia.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Aug. 4, 2014, 12:51 p.m.

When Kent Brantly, an Amer­ic­an doc­tor suf­fer­ing from Ebola, was flown from Liber­ia to At­lanta last week, he be­came the first per­son to be treated for the vir­us in the United States.

His ar­rival made many people nervous. After all, the Ebola vir­us, one of the dead­li­est patho­gens known to man, has nev­er been re­por­ted on Amer­ic­an soil. Are we risk­ing a stateside out­break by bring­ing the doc­tor here?

No, says the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. While it’s im­possible to say that no one in the U.S. will be­come in­fec­ted with the vir­us, the risk of an epi­dem­ic is ex­tremely low, the CDC says, and the gen­er­al pub­lic shouldn’t be wor­ried. To drive that point home, the pub­lic health in­sti­tute launched an hour-long dis­cus­sion on Twit­ter at 4 p.m. Monday us­ing the hasht­ag #CD­Cchat. The ques­tions have been pour­ing in every second since.

So far, Ebola ex­perts tweet­ing from sev­er­al CDC Twit­ter ac­counts have answered ques­tions about how the dis­ease spreads, what its symp­toms are, what pre­cau­tions people should take, and more — all in 140-char­ac­ter snip­pets. Here’s a sampling:

Scroll through the fast-mov­ing con­ver­sa­tion here.

Shortly after the Twit­ter chat began, the loc­al ABC News af­fil­i­ate in New York re­por­ted that a pa­tient at Mount Sinai Hos­pit­al who had re­cently traveled to West Africa is be­ing tested for Ebola. The man had ar­rived in the hos­pit­al’s emer­gency room on Monday morn­ing with a high fever and gastrointest­in­al symp­toms, and has been placed in isol­a­tion.

There will only be more ques­tions.

What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×