[Impact on social networks after announcement of a case of Hansen's disease in an immigrant in Chile].
BACKGROUND: Hansen's disease (HD) is a curable disease of low transmissibility which doesn't need social segregation or public notice. The announcement of a HD case in an immigrant by a governmental medical employee allowed to evaluate its impact within social networks (SN) in Chile, a country without endemic cases.
AIM: To measure the impact and tone of mentions within SN after the announcement of an imported case.
METHODS: Mention analysis from -21 to +21 days of the notice using commercial software. Mentions were assigned to a positive, neutral or negative tone and net feeling calculated according to established formula.
RESULTS: The day of the announcement immigrant mentions concentrated on HD (45%) and tone was distributed almost equally between positive and negative mentions but net feeling analysis indicated predominance of negative values the first day and a dynamic oscillation thereafter. A net negative feeling was registered at least during 3 different dates.
CONCLUSIONS: Announcement of a HD case hoarded immigrant mentions towards this disease with a significant fraction of negative comments within SN. Because, there is no public health justification to divulgate this disease, this negative impact generated by an official clerk, could has been avoided. Analysis of SN is a useful tool to explore an infectious disease impact on public opinion.