Social networks applied to Dengue, H1N1, and Zika epidemics: An integrative literature review

Work. 2020;67(3):721-732. doi: 10.3233/WOR-203321.


Background: Health crises occur both regionally and globally. Online social networks are widely used technical resources that allow users to share large amounts of information with increasing reach and velocity. Thus, the capacity of spreading information about epidemics through social media allows members of a population and health professionals or agencies to collaborate.

Method: This study presents results obtained in an integrative review, including examples of how social media enabled collaboration in health surveillance to treat the epidemies of Dengue, Zika, and H1N1. The literature review covers studies published between 2009 and 2017.

Results: The studies reviewed indicate that social media interactions are tools for the rapid dissemination of information. These networks operate at low cost and allow information to reach audiences in need of information and who otherwise would not receive it. Social media allowed researchers to monitor evolving epidemics and obtain epidemiological data useful for decision-making in health surveillance.

Conclusions: Despite the widespread use of social networks, there are opportunities for improvement, especially in technology for treatment.

Keywords: Dengue; H1N1; Social media; Zika; collaboration in health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dengue* / epidemiology
  • Epidemics*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Social Media*
  • Social Networking
  • Zika Virus Infection* / epidemiology
  • Zika Virus*