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Ebola Outbreak West Africa: Information Resources Cindy Love October 9, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Ebola Outbreak West Africa: Information Resources Cindy Love October 9, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ebola Outbreak West Africa: Information Resources Cindy Love October 9, 2014

2 National Library of Medicine World’s largest biomedical library - 9 million items in collection National Network: 8 U.S. Regional Medical Libraries Home of PubMed, MedlinePlus, National Center for Biotechnology Information, informatics research, specialized information on public health, toxicology, HIV/AIDS, health services research, disasters, and more Part of the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland, US

3 Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) Mission To develop and provide access to health information resources and technology for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery 3 Connect people to quality disaster health information and foster a culture of community resiliency St. John’s Hospital, Joplin, MO after 2011 tornado

4 Why DIMRC and Ebola? Events that overwhelm, or threaten to overwhelm, the local capacity to respond. Pandemic or epidemic infectious diseases; outbreaks following disasters All-hazards topics: Children in Disasters Mass Gatherings Ethics & Legal Concerns Emotional Coping with Disasters Chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear and explosive causes of multiple injuries and death Natural Disasters Health information resources for professionals

5 Agenda Tracking Ebola information Ebola-related resources from NLM Ebola on every channel, every format Roles for librarians and information specialists Managing and avoiding info overload 5

6 Tracking Ebola information: the dream

7 The reality

8 What IS Ebola information? The virus itself, basic science, sequencing of the virus Public health practices and their ethical/legal implications Clinical care and infection control Impact on the availability of health care for other needs Implications for family well-being and the functioning of society Emotional well-being of caregivers, family and friends, survivors Long-term health effects of Ebola for recovering survivors Ebola orphans Stigma More…

9 Can I just search on ‘Ebola’? YES! Synonyms: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for PubMed searches: Do NOT use MeSH for articles added since the start of this outbreak. Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola = Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever = Ebola Virus Disease Ebolavirus Ebola Vaccines Older or additional materials may be found using: Viral hemorrhagic fever(s)

10 Ebola-related Resources from NLM Guide to Ebola information resources PubMed Disaster Lit Emergency Access Initiative MedlinePlus Virus Variation Outreach to information specialists via listserv, webinars

11 Guide to Ebola Information Resources Not just literature… Situation reports Maps Social media Lead U.S. federal organizations NGOs Non-English materials ebola_2014.html

12 Disaster Health Information Peer-reviewed scholarly literature Journal articles Books “Grey” Literature Reports Summaries Surveillance data Training materials Conference proceedings 12

13 PubMed On average, 98 articles per year in last 10 years 127 articles about this outbreak added Mar 1-Sept 19 Few have been indexed Most are news, editorials, commentary for a general professional audience Early research results started appearing at the end of Sept. 8 journals dominate because they publish fast, frequently, and online Single articles in each of 40 journals

14 Grey Literature Formal definition: “That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business, and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers.” Working definition: Not in PubMed. Disaster Lit: home of grey lit 111 documents about this outbreak added Mar 1-Sept 19 Most are guidelines, also factsheets, reports, training materials, etc. 14

15 Disaster Lit: Ebola Documents Refine Your Results: Source Publication Type Year Author Terms=ebola+OR+hemorrhagic&search.x=0 &search.y=0&search=Search

16 Disaster Lit: Ebola Documents (2) Scroll down to continue your search: PubMed MedlinePlus DIMRC web site

17 Emergency Access Initiative (EAI)

18 Searching PubMed for EAI Journals

19 MedlinePlus

20 Virus Variation Resource for Ebolavirus NLM National Center for Biotechnology Information

21 Stay Connected DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB 1,300+ subscribers rclistserv.html Twitter @NLM_DIMRC

22 Ebola information – Beyond NLM Every channel Every format Every minute of the day

23 Ebola Info – Alerts Set up alerts and RSS feeds from sources relevant to you. CDC, ProMED-mail, Your state’s public health or emergency management agencies Google news and other news aggregators Local TV, newspaper This is an official CDC HEALTH ADVISORY

24 News Media Radio, TV, Print Newspapers, Online News, Blogs Look for: »Trusted sources »Articles with a publication date »Frequent updates »Original, on-site reporting »Multiple authors on a single article

25 Social Media Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, Blogs, Newsletters, updates and alerts in your mailbox Expect: Vast number of choices – consider the source Twitter now the place for ‘breaking news’ Increasing, almost commonplace, use of social media by well-resourced agencies Social media scene during/after a disaster evolves constantly

26 The age of the infographic Visualizing Health Policy: The 2014 Ebola Outbreak JAMA. 2014;312(14):1388. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13666.

27 The age of the infographic (2) SOURCE: CDC, New England Journal of Medicine, NIH, Science, The Lancet, Nature. By Patterson Clark, Darla Cameron and Sohail Al-Jamea, The Washington Post October 3, 2014

28 The age of the infographic (3) CDC sources/infographics.html sources/infographics.html

29 The age of the infographic (4) World Health Organization ebola/put_on_ppequipment.pdf

30 Visualizing the outbreak from the simple to the complex Simple: bar graph of Medline/PubMed Ebola articles, 1977 (5 articles) to 2014 (308 articles)

31 Health Map

32 Heatmap of Ebola Tweets

33 Roles for Information Specialists

34 Information specialists: Should my organization have a webpage for Ebola? Focus on: Unique content: information specific to your institution or community not on any other website Content that you will be able to maintain and update Meeting unique or specific needs of your institution Using distribution channels already familiar to you and your users, and within your control Using Ebola resources created, maintained by others Controlling your users’ expectations

35 Keeping your website current: Embed, don’t dread https://tools.cdc.go v/medialibrary

36 CDC microsite embedded on NIH website Embed, don’t dread http://www.nih. gov/health/ebol a.htm

37 Information specialists: Distributing Ebola-related information Subscribe and forward, try Ebola News Digest Add key links on appropriate web pages Consider outreach to: –Hospital preparedness decision makers –Instructors using the Ebola outbreak as a case study –Local community members with family in West Africa –Humanitarian and medical volunteers deploying to West Africa –University researchers working on Ebola

38 Information specialists: An Outreach Example: West Africans in Your Neighborhood “Dr. Fine of the Rhode Island Department of Health said that one of the most important ways to keep more Ebola cases from emerging in the United States was to encourage West African immigrants to reach out to friends and relatives in their homelands and educate them. In Rhode Island, West African community leaders were urging people to call five relatives or friends in their homeland and give them advice about preventing the spread of Ebola. The United Way has even provided a van with phones for free calls, he said.” Countering Fear of Ebola With Education Where West Africans Live in U.S. New York Times, October 2, 2014 west-africans-live-in-us.html

39 Information specialists: Be a Trusted Source Rumored preventives & cures: Drinking copious amounts of salt water or condensed milk or holy water or coffee Eating raw onions or kola nut What do you do about comments from family and friends that you see on social media?

40 Managing Overload or How much do you REALLY need to know? Let this sentence be your guide… I am tracking information because I need to find [types of info] for [who?] so that they can [do what?] Examples: stay current, make a healthcare facility response plan, conduct research, make evidence-based clinical decisions, write federal policy, teach a class, train medical personnel, etc.

41 Tips for Avoiding Overload Select your trusted sources. Use their *alert* and RSS functions. Set a schedule for reviewing and updating. The 24-hour news cycle isn't. Diminishing returns, especially overnight and on weekends. In the absence of actual news, there's a lot of opinion. Do you need to be well-informed on opinion? Limit your personal exposure to photos, videos and audio – they have more emotional impact than text. Set limits. "I can do my job without looking at the pictures." Limit your reading of “Comments” following news stories and blogs. Some are well-informed but many provide more emotion than insight. Say “no” to negativity. Manage stress by limiting exposure to media. What's good for the kids (turn it off, go outside and play) is good for the adults too. [It is okay to…] Protect yourself.

42 Questions? To unmute your phone, press *6. Type your questions in the chat box. Send email to

43 Thank you! Cindy Love Disaster Information Management Research Center

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