Download An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of by Jon D. Lee PDF

By Jon D. Lee

In a pandemic of Rumors, Jon D. Lee examines the human reaction to epidemics throughout the lens of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Societies often reply to the eruption of affliction by way of developing tales, jokes, conspiracy theories, legends, and rumors, yet those narratives are usually extra harmful than the ailments they reference. the knowledge disseminated via them is usually erroneous, incorporating xenophobic factors of the disease's origins and questionable clinical information regarding power therapies and treatment.

Folklore stories brings vital and helpful views to figuring out cultural responses to the outbreak of illness. via this etiological research Lee exhibits the similarities among the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of different modern affliction outbreaks like AIDS and the H1N1 virus. His research means that those ailment narratives don't spring up with new outbreaks or ailments yet are in non-stop stream and are recycled opportunistically. Lee additionally explores even if this predictability of vernacular illness narratives offers the chance to create counter-narratives published systematically from the govt or clinical technological know-how to stymie the unwanted effects of the frightened rumors that so usually inflame humanity.

With strength for sensible software to public wellbeing and fitness and future health coverage, a deadly disease of Rumors could be of curiosity to scholars and students of wellbeing and fitness, medication, and folklore.

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Additional info for An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease

Example text

Cases occur, as declared by the Hong Kong Department of Health” (Lui 2003). Also in late April, the WHO officially recognized Vietnam as the first country to effectively control the disease, with no new cases appearing in two weeks (“How Vietnam Beat the Bug” 2003). And in the most promising statement yet, on April 28, a WHO official stated that he believed the worst of SARS was over in Vietnam, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong— though China still remained a large problem. Canada seemed to have recovered especially rapidly, as no new cases had been reported outside of a hospital in twelve days (“WHO: Worst of SARS Over in Some Countries” 2003).

One of these doctors—Paul Epstein of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment—said, “The attention focused in recent weeks on SARS is extraordinary and, it can be argued, excessive” (Fox 2003a). Reactions such as these may be, at least in the United States, somewhat understandable. America had managed to avoid contamination for the most part and had not seen a single SARS-related fatality. Members of the CDC continued to express concern over the capacities of US hospitals to deal with a large-scale epidemic, should one occur, as hospitals lacked Chronicle of a Health Panic 31 the necessary quantities of negative pressure/infection control rooms to deal with widespread contamination.

The editorial itself was written by the deputy director of the Enteric, Respiratory and Neurological Virus Laboratory at London’s Health Protection Agency and summarized 20 Chronicle of a Health Panic the scientific advancements that had been made in the investigations of SARS since it was brought to the attention of the Western world. SARS was noted to almost certainly be caused by a coronavirus, but the disease’s symptoms also seemed to be associated with a human metapneumovirus isolated in 2001.

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