Monitoring emergency calls and social networks for COVID-19 surveillance. To learn for the future: The outbreak experience of the Lombardia region in Italy.
On 18th February the first Italian case of Coronavirus Induced Disease 2019 (COVID19) due to secondary transmission outside China was identified in Codogno, Lombardia region. In the following days the number of cases started to rise not only in Lombardia but also in other Italian regions, although Lombardia remained and it is still the most affected region in Italy. At the moment, 234801 cases have been identified in Italy, out of which 90070 in Lombardia region. The (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) SARS CoV 2 outbreak in Italy has been characterized by a massive spread of news coming from both official and unofficial sources leading what has been defined as infodemia, an over-abundance of information - some accurate and some not - that has made hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance needed. Infodemia on SARS CoV 2 created the perfect field to build uncertainty in the population, which was scared and not prepared to face this outbreak. It is understandable how the rapid increase of the cases’ number , the massive spread of news and the adoption of laws to face this outbreak led to a feeling of anxiety in the population whose everyday life changed very quickly. A way to assess the dynamic burden of social anxiety is a context analysis of major social networks activities over the Internet. To this aim Twitter represents a possible ideal tool since the focused role of the tweets according to the more urgent needs of information and communication rather than general aspects of social projection and debate as in the case of Facebook, which could provide slower responses for the fast individual and social context evolution dynamics. Aim of the paper is to analyse the most common reasons for calling and outcomes. Furthermore, the joint analysis with Twitter trends related to emergency services might be useful to understand possible correlations with epidemic trends and predict new outbreaks.