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WHO: Tuberculosis (TB) Epidemic Much Worse Than People Think

TB is considered to be the world’s second most ruthless killer after HIV/AIDS. Hopes of eradicating it completely are experiencing a considerable setback: the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday that last year saw twice as many new cases appear than previously estimated. The world’s preoccupation with the Ebola virus has eclipsed almost any attention to other health hazards. But the tuberculosis epidemic is now considered to be much more severe than before.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

The World Health Organization held a #TBchat yesterday to discuss Tuberculosis (TB). Our recent report shows #TBChat had 596 mentions over the past 24 hours.

Check out iTrend’s recent #TBChat report for keywords and retweets below (click on the image to expand view). The word cloud extracted from #TBChat conversations people had with WHO on Twitter mentions guidelines, treatment, and management, chemo, drugs and drug resistance, MDR.

tb chat

Key Facts About Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
  • In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease.
  • Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top 5 causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
  • In 2013, an estimated 550 000 children became ill with TB and 80 000 HIV-negative children died of TB.
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people causing one-fourth of all HIV-related deaths.
  • Globally in 2013, an estimated 480 000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
  • The estimated number of people falling ill with TB each year is declining, although very slowly, which means that the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015.
  • The TB death rate dropped 45% between 1990 and 2013.
  • An estimated 37 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2013.


WindowsRage word cloud on Twitter

Election, Media And Technology

How we view and utilize technology affects everything we do, whether it’s choosing news outlets to pay attention to, or deciding on who to vote for in an election. When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. Whether discussing politics online or with friends, both groups are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a Pew Research Center study. The study was part of a year-long effort to shed light on political polarization in America to see how people get information about government and politics in three different settings: (1) the news media, (2) social media and (3) the way people talk about politics with friends and family. In all three areas, the study finds that those with the most consistent ideological views on the left and right have information streams that are distinct from those of individuals with more mixed political views – and very distinct from each other.

The study finds that consistent conservatives are tightly clustered around a single news source, far more than any other group in the survey, with 47% citing Fox News as their main source for news about government and politics. By contrast, the study found those with consistently liberal views are less unified in their media loyalty, they rely on a greater range of news outlets, such as NPR and the New York Times, that others use far less.

As a communications professional, a writer, an analyst, and most importantly, a voter, I am interested to see how iTrend measures the election, technology and media. There have been nearly a million tweets related to United States politics and the election over the past seven days, according to Twitter’s Election website. In Connecticut (iTrend’s offices are in Stamford), there were just under 8,500 tweets in the same period.

twitter election

Undoubtedly social media and technology have changed the election process. Social media is used to discuss various candidates across all political parties and races, it’s very helpful to voters. For example, during the political conventions and the debates, live tweets were displayed in real-time on the screen so that viewers could get an idea of what others were thinking about the debate. While this may seem harmless, and even collaborative, it can really change the impact and the perception of the discussion.

A recent iTrend 7-day report of election and media highlights top keywords and a summary view shows over 1,000 people discussing the election and the media.


Social Media On Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ Ads Attacking Android’s Data Sharing

Microsoft has been actively attacking Google for its Android app store policies. Microsoft’s point of view can be seen here:


You can follow the debate on Twitter under the following tag:


Most retweets involving this hashtag are driven by the $500 Visa Gift Card offer:

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Conversations appear to be centred around data privacy and Android store transactions:

scroogled word cloud on Twitter

More specifically, some of these tweets are calling Google “evil”, and stating that people should be aware of the privacy issues with the platform:

All this action on Twitter has spawned another tag – with opposing points of view:


… calling Microsoft’s actions, among other things, “childish”:

WindowsRage word cloud on Twitter

The debate is getting noticed by news outlets:
Stay tuned for more updates.