Steep Drop In Lahore Dengue Cases, Thanks To An App
Clean Lahore was created in response to a 2011 epidemic that sickened 20,000. Along with a dedicated public health campaign, the app helps officials monitor all efforts to stop the disease's spread.
What's the Latest Development?
So far this year, the Lahore metropolitan area has recorded a few dozen cases of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease characterized by fever, headache, and joint pain. The number is significantly lower than in past years, thanks to a smartphone app created by computer scientist Umar Saif that allows officials to track all efforts to prevent the disease's spread. This includes photologging crews of sanitation workers as they clear out pools of standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.
What's the Big Idea?
In 2011, the Punjab region of Pakistan, which includes Lahore, experienced a dengue epidemic that sickened 20,000 citizens. With the data provided by the Clean Lahore app, Saif has mapped locations of sick people as well as mosquito larvae, helping officials to predict and prevent future outbreaks. The app also helps get around a longstanding problem with public sector corruption, says Saif: "You have people who have not done — maybe for decades — work as well as they were supposed to do. So the government needs to therefore now use technology in innovative ways to monitor its functions."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
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- A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
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Previous studies on misinformation have already paved the way to a better understanding<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1NzQ4NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjE2Mjg1Nn0.hs_xHktN1KXUDVoWpHIVBI2sMJy6aRK6tvBVFkqmYjk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C800%2C0%2C823&height=700" id="fc135" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="246bb1920c0f40ccb15e123914de1ab1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="fake news concept of misinformation and fake news in the media" />
How does misinformation spread?
Credit: Visual Generation on Shutterstock<p><strong>What is the "continued-influence" effect?</strong></p><p>A challenge in using corrections effectively is that repeating the misinformation can have negative consequences. Research on this effect (referred to as "continued-influence") has shown that information presented as factual that is later deemed false can still contaminate memory and reasoning. The persistence of the continued-influence effect has led researchers to generally recommend avoiding repeating misinformation. </p><p>"Repetition increases familiarity and believability of misinformation," <a href="https://engineering.stanford.edu/magazine/article/how-fake-news-spreads-real-virus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the study explains</a>.</p><p><strong>What is the "familiarity-backfire" effect?</strong></p><p>Studies of this effect have shown that increasing misinformation familiarity through extra exposure to it leads to misattributions of fluency when the context of said information cannot be recalled. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797620952797#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2017 study</a> examined this effect in myth correction. Subjects rated beliefs in facts and myths of unclear veracity. Then, the facts were affirmed and myths corrected and subjects again made belief ratings. The results suggested a role for familiarity but the myth beliefs remained below pre-manipulation levels. </p>