Health threats under radar: The Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS)

Oana Vasiliu 06/04/2020 | 16:12

It’s very important to stay informed during this pandemic, especially because there are a lot of false information about what’s happening around the globe – take into consideration that some information from open sources can’t be fack checked in real time and, therefore, it may become fake news. European Commission, as well as other institutional stakeholders, are endorsing The Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS) initiative as a unique collaboration between various public health stakeholders around the globe. It brings together new and existing initiatives, networks and systems to create a unified all-hazards, One Health approach to early detection, verification and assessment of public health risks and threats using open source information.

The EIOS community of practice is supported by an evolving EIOS system, which not only connects other systems and actors – including ProMed, HealthMap and the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) – but also promotes and catalyses new and innovative collaborative development. The EIOS system builds on a long-standing collaboration between WHO and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission to develop a system for public health intelligence and responds to the need for a global initiative to bring together PHI efforts.


EIOS picked up the first article reporting on a cluster of pneumonia in Wuhan at 03:14am (UTC) on December 31st 2019. By the end of March, the EIOS system was collating up to 228,000 articles per day related to the outbreak, helping to sort through this information and making it available it to experts across the globe. Since the start of the outbreak, members of the EIOS community have been working on additions to the system to help manage the unprecedented volume of articles by looking at improved ways to filter, contextualize and visualize all of the content coming in.

The COVID-19 News Map is only one application that has been developed with colleagues at the JRC to visualize some of the information coming through EIOS. It displays the headlines and snippets of the ten most recent articles that the system has identified as being related to COVID-19 in their original languages. It cycles through each news item before being refreshed and re-running the cycle.

For more official information about COVID-19 visit the WHO website and the COVID-19 Situation Dashboard.

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