By Jon D. Lee

ISBN-10: 0874219280

ISBN-13: 9780874219289

ISBN-10: 0874219299

ISBN-13: 9780874219296

In An Epidemic of Rumors, Jon D. Lee examines the human reaction to epidemics in the course of the lens of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Societies often reply to the eruption of sickness via developing tales, jokes, conspiracy theories, legends, and rumors, yet those narratives are usually extra harmful than the illnesses they reference. the knowledge disseminated via them is frequently faulty, incorporating xenophobic motives of the disease’s origins and questionable clinical information regarding strength treatments and treatment.

Folklore reviews brings very important and invaluable views to knowing cultural responses to the outbreak of sickness. via this etiological examine Lee exhibits the similarities among the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of different modern disorder outbreaks like AIDS and the H1N1 virus. His research means that those sickness narratives don't spring up with new outbreaks or ailments yet are in non-stop movement and are recycled opportunistically. Lee additionally explores no matter if this predictability of vernacular sickness narratives provides the chance to create counter-narratives published systematically from the govt or scientific technological know-how to stymie the unwanted effects of the anxious rumors that so frequently inflame humanity.

With strength for functional software to public future health and health and wellbeing coverage, An Epidemic of Rumors will be of curiosity to scholars and students of well-being, medication, and folklore.

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Extra info for An epidemic of rumors : how stories shape our perception of disease

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Research­ ers had earlier hoped that decoding SARS’s genetic makeup would help eliminate such concerns and point to a specific human or non­human origin, but the results had proved inconclusive (“Origin of SARS Virus Still a Puzzle” 2003). The lingering confusion over the origin of the coronavirus was not the only remaining problem. On a global scale, businesses all over the world were still reporting losses, and none worse than the airline industry. Thomas Andrew Drysdale, regional director for the International Air Transport Association, called the situation a “crisis of major proportions,” and stated that 9/11, the Iraq war, and Britain’s foot-and-mouth disease combined hadn’t created as much financial damage to the airline industry.

The editorial ended with a note that laboratories around the world were racing to check these correlations (Zambon 2003). The second major piece in the April 19 edition of the BMJ was a professional paper by two researchers—a professor and a physician—at the University of Hong Kong. The short paper reviewed Hong Kong’s rising number of deaths from SARS, summarized laboratory and pathological findings, recommended courses of treatment, and provided a list of precautions for doctors to take when treating those infected by SARS.

The Lancet also mentioned that bioterrorism had not been ruled out as a possible cause. (Washer 2004, 2565) In the March 29 edition of the BMJ, an editorial set a grim tone in its discussion of this new epidemic by opening with “Plagues are as certain as death and taxes” (Zambon and Nicholson 2003, 677). At least one academic voice subsequently claimed that this pessimistic tone set the stage for the subsequent week’s worth of newspaper reports (Washer 2004). The BMJ article was largely fact-based in its estimations of the dangerous nature of the disease while simultaneously recognizing what was not yet known about the new virus.

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An epidemic of rumors : how stories shape our perception of disease by Jon D. Lee


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