Use of a Web Forum and an Online Questionnaire in the Detection and Investigation of an Outbreak

Tammy Leigh Stuart Chester, Marsha Taylor, Jat Sandhu, Sara Forsting, Andrea Ellis, Rob Stirling, Eleni Galanis

Abstract


A campylobacteriosis outbreak investigation provides relevant examples of how two web-based technologies were used in an outbreak setting and potential reasons for their usefulness. A web forum aided in outbreak detection and provided contextual insights for hypothesis generation and questionnaire development. An online questionnaire achieved a high response rate and enabled rapid preliminary data analysis that allowed for a targeted environmental investigation. The usefulness of these tools may in part be attributed to the existence of an internet savvy, close-knit community. Given the right population, public health officials should consider web-based technologies, including web fora and online questionnaires as valuable tools in public health investigations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v3i1.3506



Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org