From the Abstract: "Twitter has been used to track trends and disseminate health information during viral epidemics. On January 21, 2020, the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center and the WHO [World Health Organization] released its first situation report about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), sparking significant media attention. How Twitter content and sentiment has evolved in the early stages of any outbreak, including the COVID-19 epidemic, has not been described. [...] We evaluated 126,049 tweets from 53,196 unique users. The hourly number of COVID19-related tweets starkly increased from January 21, 2020 onward. Nearly half (49.5%) of all tweets expressed fear and nearly 30% expressed surprise. The frequency of racially charged tweets closely paralleled the number of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19. The economic and political impact of the COVID-19 was the most commonly discussed topic, while public health risk and prevention were among the least discussed."
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Medford, Richard J.; Saleh, Sameh N.; Sumarsono, Andrew . . .