The CDC Is Using Twitter to Explain Ebola to the Masses

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.