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War diseases revealed by the social media: massive leishmaniasis outbreak in the Syrian Spring

Samer Alasaad

Author Affiliations

Department of Ecology and Sylviculture, Euphrates University, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (IEU), University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Sevilla, Spain

Parasites & Vectors 2013, 6:94  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-94

Published: 12 April 2013


Social media introduce pivotal changes to communication between individuals, organizations and communities. A clear example of the power of social media is the spread of the revolutionary outbreaks in the Arabic countries during 2011, where people used Facebook, YouTube and Skype to communicate, organise meetings and protest actions. Here I report how Doctor-Activists use these social media as an alarm system for ‘war disease’ outbreaks in the Syrian Spring. Social media are used as an alarm system to attract the attention of international organizations, which should assume their responsibilities and play their part in controlling the outbreak of such war diseases.

Social Media; Facebook; YouTube; Syrian Arab Republic; Cutaneous leishmaniasis; Leishmania tropica complex; Arab Spring; Revolution; Deir Ezzor