New infectious disease research presented at CHEST 2009

November 03, 2009

Flocked Swabs Provide Alternate Method for Retrieving Nasal Aspirates
(#8387, Tuesday, November 3, 3:45 PM ET)

Flocked swabs may be more effective in retrieving nasal aspirates than nasopharyngeal aspiration, the current standard for retrieving nasal aspirates. Researchers from Southern Illinois University assessed each retrieval method for its ability to detect viruses. For all test methods used on 106 samples, 67 positive results were detected by swab, and 60 positive results were detected by aspirate (p=0.0455). On a 1 to 4 scale, the average estimation of epithelial cells retrieved with swabs was 3.6; for aspirates, it was 3.0. Furthermore, the cost of equipment/time for the swab method was 58 percent lower than for aspiration. Researchers conclude that flocked swabs may be a more effective and less costly alternative to nasopharyngeal aspiration.

Social Media Played Key Role in H1N1 News Dissemination
(#8902, Tuesday, November 3, 3:45 PM ET)

In May 2009, social media and other Internet tools played a key role in the dissemination of news related to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. Researchers from the Arizona Heart Institute examined the various methods in which social media and the Internet impacted the global health awareness of the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak using searches on Google and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site. They found that searches for "H1N1 flu" and "swine flu" resulted in 2.3 million and 13.4 million hits. Searches for "H1N1 flu .gov" and "swine flu .gov" resulted in 1.39 million (60.4 percent) and 3.28 million (24.5 percent) hits. Furthermore, the CDC Web site listed available social media tools for consumers with access to information about the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak as widgets, mobile information, Web page buttons, online videos, podcasts, e-cards, RSS feeds, Twitter microblog updates, image sharing, and social networking. Researchers conclude that online content and social media have emerged as important outlets for health information and may affect public health efforts at the consumer level.

American College of Chest Physicians

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