Information Epidemiology Explained

Information epidemiology combines elements of three main fields: public health, national security, and information disorder

health security
public health
information epidemiology

Information Epidemiology Lab

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (2022)


August 21, 2023

Information epidemiology, often called “infodemiology,” is the study and analysis of information distribution, patterns, and determinants across electronic mediums, primarily the Internet, and within specific populations. Put simply, it’s looking at how online news spreads and affects people.

It delves into how and why information spreads while highlighting strategies to curb and counteract the spread of manipulated information. Information epidemiology is interdisciplinary, meaning it combines multiple fields. At InfoEpi Lab, our intersection is specific: public health, national security, information disorder, and countering malign influence.

Overlapping Areas

Located at the center of this Venn diagram, the InfoEpi Lab uses insights from these fields to tackle the challenges and threats facing society today.

Venn diagram showing intersection of fields described on the page.

  • Information Epidemiology: This field studies the spread and impact of information, blending public health and information disorder concepts.

  • Infoveillance: Merging public health and information disorder, infoveillance monitors public data, especially on social media, to address public health issues.

  • Hybrid Threats: At the crossroads of national security and information disorder, these threats combine various tactics, often with disinformation campaigns. Hybrid influence encompasses more than this but that exists outside our purview.

  • Unethical Influence: This refers to efforts to manipulate people’s perceptions and actions, often to the influencer’s benefit, by denying them accurate information.

  • Health Security: Combining public health and national security, this field focuses on protecting populations from health threats like diseases, bioterrorism, and environmental disasters. The goal is to prevent, detect, and respond to these threats, ensuring individual and societal safety.


BibTeX citation:
  author = {Li, E. Rosalie},
  publisher = {Information Epidemiology Lab},
  title = {Information {Epidemiology} {Explained}},
  journal = {InfoEpi Lab},
  date = {2023-08-21},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Li, E. Rosalie. 2023. “Information Epidemiology Explained.” InfoEpi Lab, August.