The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals. More than 12,000 people attended the 2018 meeting in San Diego earlier this month.
Here are a few interesting highlights from the conference:
Automating Mosquito Classification
Adam Goodwin, Jewell Brey, Laura Scavo, Collyn Heier, Tristan Ford, Teja Maruvada, Margaret Glancey and Soumyadipta Acharya from Johns Hopkins University and Austin Reiter from Snap Inc. shared preliminary results of their work involving automated mosquito classification using image processing algorithms which may provide a method for augmenting an entomologist in classification of mosquito species. If further developed, this method could lead to augmented or automated mosquito classification in public health systems, allowing them to obtain more data from limited surveillance budgets.
Real vs. fake health information dissemination dynamics on social media
In a fascinating roundtable, Shi Chen, Siddharth Krishnan, Samira Shaikh and John Buchenberger from University of North Carolina Charlotte discussed their study of health-related fake and real information on Twitter during the 2016 Zika outbreak.
Read more and access a digital seminar by Dr. Chen at: http://dukeinformatics.org/event/informatics-research-seminar-comparative-analysis-of-real-vs-fake-health-related-information-on-social-media-a-case-study-of-2016-zika-epidemic-in-cyberspace/
Barriers to field testing of genetically engineered mosquitoes for vector control
Cynthia Schairer from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Cinnamon Bloss from the University of University of California San Diego highlighted the notion of “community consent” and some of the obstacles encountered by efforts to conduct field trials of a genetically engineered mosquito (GEM) in Florida. They note that legitimate U.S. trials of GEM will require more than support from local leadership or public education; they will require savvy political and bureaucratic intervention.