- •Timely information was key to the travel health sector during the Ebola virus outbreak.
- •Data on information seeking behaviors carry potential for surveillance.
- •Traffic to a travel health Web site showed early and sustained interest in the outbreak.
- •This suggests potential for a syndromic surveillance system.
Timely outbreak information was paramount to public health bodies issuing travel advisories during the 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak. This article explores the potential for a syndromic system/Shewhart control chart based on the online interaction with a national travel health Web site in comparison with searches on the Google UK search engine. The study showed an amplification of perceived risk among users of a national travel health Web site months before the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the initial surge in public interest on Google UK in August 2014.
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Published online: January 02, 2018
Conflicts of interest: None to report.
Author contributions: J.P., H.S., and D.P. were closely involved with the design, conduct, analysis, presentation, and interpretation of the study findings.
© 2018 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.