Media's Impact on Public Knowledge, Opinion and Behavior Regarding Infectious Diseases, Specifically, Ebola and Zika Virus Open Access

Sidhu, Puneet Kaur (2017)

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Media-based communication facilitates dissemination of knowledge and enhances awareness of a health risk to the public during sudden outbreaks caused by emerging biological threats (EBTs). "Risk perception, not the actual risk posed by a threat, seems the primary factor guiding cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions elicited when conditions challenge an individual's health and safety." Risk perception may be affected by factors such as perception of a hazard, cultural and social factors or the experience or memory of a prior similar hazard, all of which affect variation in risk perception. The way media disseminates information and the public's first exposure to information is crucial. Media can very markedly skew the perceptions of individuals. It is crucial that public health officials take responsibility to clearly disseminate information first and foremost before media sites alter perceptions. Health literacy and higher education allows for better comprehension of risk factors of a disease. With implications of public and policy, health status can widely begin to show improvements regarding epidemics and infectious diseases. Research needs to be more accessible to policymakers and because research is not often readily available to policymakers, it creates confusion and complexity for policymakers to clearly state the health risks of infectious diseases and epidemics. An introduction of a practice that effectively serves as a "translational bridge" between the scientific research community and policy makers and media production communities is required.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1- Introduction

Chapter 2- Review of Literature

Chapter 3- Method

Chapter 4- Results

Chapter 5- Discussion

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