Online surveillance of media health event reporting in Nepal: Digital disease detection from a One Health perspective

Jessica S. Schwind, Stephanie A. Norman, Dibesh Karmacharya, David Wolking, Sameer M. Dixit, Rajesh M. Rajbhandari, Sumiko R. Mekaru, John S. Brownstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Background: Traditional media and the internet are crucial sources of health information. Media can significantly shape public opinion, knowledge and understanding of emerging and endemic health threats. As digital communication rapidly progresses, local access and dissemination of health information contribute significantly to global disease detection and reporting. Methods: Health event reports in Nepal (October 2013-December 2014) were used to characterize Nepal's media environment from a One Health perspective using HealthMap - a global online disease surveillance and mapping tool. Event variables (location, media source type, disease or risk factor of interest, and affected species) were extracted from HealthMap. Results: A total of 179 health reports were captured from various sources including newspapers, inter-government agency bulletins, individual reports, and trade websites, yielding 108 (60%) unique articles. Human health events were reported most often (n = 85; 79%), followed by animal health events (n = 23; 21%), with no reports focused solely on environmental health. Conclusions: By expanding event coverage across all of the health sectors, media in developing countries could play a crucial role in national risk communication efforts and could enhance early warning systems for disasters and disease outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalBMC International Health and Human Rights
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 21 2017



  • Digital disease detection
  • Internet health reports
  • Media
  • Nepal
  • One health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Schwind, J. S., Norman, S. A., Karmacharya, D., Wolking, D., Dixit, S. M., Rajbhandari, R. M., Mekaru, S. R., & Brownstein, J. S. (2017). Online surveillance of media health event reporting in Nepal: Digital disease detection from a One Health perspective. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 17(1), [26].