Khaled K Al-Surimi, Mohammed M Khalifa, Salwa S Bahkali, Ashraf A El-Metwally, Mowafa M Househ


Health threats due to infectious diseases used to be a major public health concerns around the globe till mid of twentieth century when effective public health interventions helped in eradicating a number of infectious diseases around the world. Over the past 15 years, there has been a rise in the number of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases being reported such as the Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, HINI in 2009, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012, Ebola in 2014, and Zika in 2016. These emerging viral infectious diseases have led to serious public health concerns leading to death and causing fear and anxiety among the public. More importantly, at the moment, the prevention and control of viral infectious diseases is difficult due to a lack of effective vaccines. Thus having real-time reporting tools are paramount to alert relevant public health surveillance systems and authorities about taking the right and necessary actions to control and minimize the potential harmful effects of viral infectious diseases. Social media and Internet-based data can play a major role in real-time reporting to empower active public health surveillance systems for controlling and fighting infectious diseases.