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Volume 18, Number 7—July 2012

Dispatch

Timeliness of Nongovernmental versus Governmental Global Outbreak Communications

Luke Mondor, John S. Brownstein, Emily Chan, Lawrence C. Madoff, Marjorie P. Pollack, David L. Buckeridge, and Timothy F. BrewerComments to Author 
Author affiliations: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (L. Mondor, D.L. Buckeridge, T.F. Brewer); Harvard–Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (J.S. Brownstein, E. Chan); Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston (J.S. Brownstein, E. Chan); International Society for Infectious Diseases, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA (L.C. Madoff, M.P. Pollack, T.F. Brewer); University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA (L. Madoff); and Harvard Medical School, Boston (J.S. Brownstein)

Main Article

Table 1

Time from the estimated start of an outbreak to its earliest communication by source*

Variable Governmental sources
Nongovernmental sources
p value
No. outbreaks Median no. days (95% CI) No. outbreaks Median no. days (95% CI)
Period
1996–2009 163 33.0 (30–44) 103 23.0 (20–32) 0.200
Pre-SARS 90 39.5 (31–51) 61 29.0 (20–50) 0.161
Post-SARS 73 29.0 (25–37) 42 21.5 (17–32) 0.613
Geographic location
Africa 85 37.0 (29–51) 41 31.0 (23–57) 0.733
Americas 13 30.0 (21–63) 12 25.0 (20–34) 0.568
Eastern Mediterranean 24 41.0 (23–51) 9 31.0 (16–82) 0.903
Europe 11 31.0 (23–79) 9 20.0 (13–184) 0.909
Southeast Asia 8 28.0 (10–62) 11 14.0 (11–51) 0.431
Western Pacific 22 26.0 (12–52) 21 18.0 (13–33) 0.789

*Bootstrapping with 10,000 replicates was used to calculate 95% CIs for median values. SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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