Health Policy

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

By Jon D. Lee

In an outbreak of Rumors, Jon D. Lee examines the human reaction to epidemics during 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 data disseminated via them is frequently misguided, incorporating xenophobic motives of the disease's origins and questionable clinical information regarding strength remedies and treatment.

Folklore stories brings vital and worthy views to figuring out cultural responses to the outbreak of affliction. via this etiological examine Lee indicates the similarities among the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of different modern ailment outbreaks like AIDS and the H1N1 virus. His research means that those affliction narratives don't spring up with new outbreaks or illnesses yet are in non-stop move and are recycled opportunistically. Lee additionally explores even if this predictability of vernacular disorder narratives offers the chance to create counter-narratives published systematically from the govt. or scientific technology to stymie the unwanted effects of the frightened rumors that so frequently inflame humanity.

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

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Sample text

Internet business, however, was booming, as consumers relied more on methods of shopping that avoided crowded marketplaces. com, in China, “Internet sales had risen as much as 60 percent at firms pitching joke books, antiseptic cleaners or DVDs to keep the housebound clean and entertained during the virus-induced panic” (“SARS Driv­ ing Shoppers Online” 2003). 5 percent increase in sales. Another business reported April sales doubling from 2002 and expected May sales to triple (“SARS Driving Shoppers Online” 2003).

Eventually researchers followed the chain back to a single man: a Shenzhen-based cook who had checked into the Futian Hospital of Chinese Medicine on August 20, 2002, having already infected his wife and two of his sisters. This patient would proceed to infect a number of doctors and health care workers. The elderly professor was one of those infected, though probably through an indirect route; it is unclear whether he and the man in the Futian Hospital ever met. What was known was that the cook regularly prepared, as part of his job, meals containing animals caught in the wild (Goudsmit 2004, 141).

Few of these pieces offered any key insights into SARS.

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