Heidi Larson. What’s in a name? Whether Zika or Ebola, the name provokes anxiety and fuels rumours.
Abstract / Summary:
'With no clear confirmation that the Zika virus causes microcephaly and a general lack of trust in the government against the background of Brazil undergoing severe economic and political crises, there is deep mistrust in official communications, and rumours of all kinds and origins are emerging across Brazil, on street corners as well as spreading rapidly through social media. In January, the Minister of Health (well known for his controversial comments) said Brazil was losing the fight against the mosquito. In response to the President's dismay, a few weeks later, the Minister affirmed the mosquito is under control. This flip-flopping made official statements about the epidemic even less credible...'
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'One of the circulating rumours on Facebook points to the measles vaccines as the cause of microcephaly cases, another rumour claims expired vaccines were to blame...'