Health Policy

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

By Jon D. Lee

In an outbreak of Rumors, Jon D. Lee examines the human reaction to epidemics throughout the lens of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Societies frequently reply to the eruption of illness 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 frequently faulty, incorporating xenophobic motives of the disease's origins and questionable clinical information regarding capability treatments and treatment.

Folklore experiences brings very important and worthwhile views to realizing cultural responses to the outbreak of disorder. via this etiological examine Lee exhibits the similarities among the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of different modern illness 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 movement and are recycled opportunistically. Lee additionally explores even if this predictability of vernacular ailment narratives offers the chance to create counter-narratives published systematically from the govt. or scientific technological know-how to stymie the unwanted effects of the frightened rumors that so usually inflame humanity.

With capability for sensible program to public future health and future health coverage, a pandemic of Rumors may be of curiosity to scholars and students of healthiness, medication, and folklore.

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Sources close to the Taiwanese government told reporters that the battle was at a crossroads: “unless officials move quickly to contain the outbreak in hospitals and do a more effective job of tracing contacts of suspected patients, the epidemic risks taking a further turn for the worse, with potentially serious consequences for the country’s health-care system” (“Taiwan Health Chief Resigns in SARS Crisis” 2003). Taiwan’s information came on the heels of a Taiwanese Interior Ministry report detailing the difficulties in fighting the disease due to locals who refused to cooperate: 42 percent of people who were supposed to register with local health officials after arriving at airports had neglected such duties.

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).

In China, Yahoo! News reported that provincial officials in Guangzhou, Guangdong, had ordered sellers at markets to remove civet cats from their caged wares, as well as snakes, bats, badgers and pangolins, all of which had been identified as possible carriers of the virus. Farms that raised exotic species were told to quarantine their livestock. Violators were threatened with fines of up to $12,000. Such measures seemed effective; Guangdong had not Chronicle of a Health Panic 37 reported a single new case of SARS in a week.

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