Chinese Social Media Reaction to News About 39 Notifiable Infectious Diseases

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Background: Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter, plays an important role in health communication in China.

Methods: Weibo data had been collected through 2012 and posts that carried keywords on the 39 infectious diseases that are notifiable in mainland China were selected. We manually read and described the Weibo posts on days when these posts peaked in number.

Results: We categorized the Weibo posts into four types, namely reactions to routine health promotion messages or specific health promotion events, reactions to news about disease outbreaks or cases, reactions to movies, books or other media that mention diseases and social interaction of Weibo users that mention diseases in their conversation.

Conclusion: Weibo users’ attention to the diseases was higher during specific health promotion events or disease outbreaks than on regular days. Social interactions that mentioned infectious diseases suggested that social media could potentially be useful tools in health communication.


Global Health and Infectious Disease Trainee Oral Symposium


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