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10/08/2014 11:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Map Shows How Discussion Of Ebola Is Spreading Online

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The Ebola virus hasn't just crossed international borders. Conversations about the epidemic are spreading fast across the Web.

Using data obtained from Twitter, Time has created a map of Ebola tweets over the past month to illustrate the virus' social media reach. For example, "a whopping 10.5 million tweets mentioning the word 'Ebola' were sent between Sept. 16 and Oct. 6 from 170 countries around the world," writes Time.

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Though the World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa so far, Time's map shows that the United States is responsible for the highest volume of tweets about Ebola.

The map also shows how the rate of Ebola tweets worldwide increased dramatically after Liberian man Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person diagnosed with the virus on U.S. soil. "On the night of Oct. 1, Twitter users were firing off missives about Ebola at the rate of more than 6,000 per minute, up from about 100 per minute before Sept. 30," writes Time.

Google searches worldwide -- going back to the beginning of the year, when the current outbreak began -- also reflect a spike in interest after Duncan's diagnosis on Sept. 30. Google searches for "Ebola" also spiked in August, when the WHO declared Ebola an emergency.

Google searches in the U.S. show similar trends for interest in Ebola.

An increase in interest about Ebola doesn't necessarily mean Americans are freaking out about a mass outbreak on U.S. soil, however. Public health experts say the likelihood of such a scenario is low, and a new poll from the Pew Research Center found that only 11 percent of Americans are "very worried" they will be exposed to the virus.

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