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Digital Participatory Surveillance and the Zika Crisis: Opportunities and Caveats

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    Rights statement: Copyright: © 2016 Pagliari, Vijaykumar. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number10(6)
Pages (from-to)e0004795
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016


Managing the global threat of Zika requires innovative solutions. This article examines the potential of Digital Participatory Surveillance to support the management of global disease outbreaks by enabling citizens to report signs of infection. We discuss the status of the current evidence-base, contextual factors influencing user engagement and data quality, challenges for evaluation, and unique aspects of Zika with implications for design. We also suggest priorities for research, development and practice, to help translate the theoretical benefits of these methods into meaningful improvements in outbreak monitoring and public health.

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