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Misinformation About Antibiotics Can Travel to Large Audience Via Twitter: Study
Date:3/30/2010

ldquo;I am on antibiotics that make me want to vomit.” Negative reactions generally revolved around inconveniences, such as not being able to drink alcohol or sensitivity to the sun.

The authors also found that while the category of “misunderstanding and/or misuse” only comprised about 700 of the more than 52,000 tweets, such misunderstandings could easily spread to a large audience due to the nature of information flow through the Twitter network. The most popular word combination in this category was “flu + antibiotics,” with 345 status updates including misinformation reaching a total of 172,571 followers. The next most popular word combination was “cold + antibiotics,” with 302 status updates reaching a total of 850,375 followers.

“As people change how they interact, going from passive consumption to active creation of content on the Internet, social networks have become increasingly important sources of information,” said Cathryn Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC, APIC 2010 president. “These findings are a reminder that we need to continue to monitor networks such as Twitter and explore ways to positively impact public health using social networks.”

(AJIC 2010; 38 (3): 182-188).

About AJIC: American Journal Of Infection Control
AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control (www.ajicjournal.org), covers key topics and issues in infection control and epidemiology. Infection preventionists, including physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists, rely on AJIC for peer-reviewed articles covering clinical topics as well as original research. As the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC), AJIC is the foremost resource o
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