Internet searches preceded announcement of outbreak

According to the Calgary Herald, the listeriosis outbreak at Maple Leaf Foods might have been predicted in advance by noticing the number of Internet searches regarding the disease.

An article published in March in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says that the Internet is revolutionizing how intelligence about new and ongoing outbreaks of infectious diseased is gathered.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa and the Harvard Medical School found that searches for the term “listeriosis” spiked nearly a month before the public declaration of the outbreak and media reports about the disease.

Better Farming - May 2009