Hammer CC, Boender TS, Thomas DR
Int J Infect Dis - (-) - [2021-05-19; online 2021-05-19]
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that public health professionals work and communicate. Over a very short time span, remote working arrangements have become the norm, and meetings have shifted online. Physical distancing measures have accelerated a trend toward digital communication and social exchange. At the same time, the work of epidemiologists has been held under a magnifying glass by journalists, governments and the general public, in a way not previously seen. As social media have become an inevitable part of our society over the last decade, Twitter has become a key communication tool and platform for social networking among epidemiologists (#EpiTwitter). In this article we reflect on the use of Twitter by field epidemiologists and public health microbiologists for rapid professional exchange, public communication of science, and professional development during the pandemic, as well as the associated risks. For those field epidemiologists new to social media, we discuss how Twitter can be used in a variety of ways, both at their home institutions and during field deployment. These include: information dissemination, science communication and public health advocacy, professional development, networking and experience exchange.