Mass Media

Going back to the discussion on the Zika virus and how much attention it gained so quickly, there are some other variables that may have been missed as to why it gained so much attention. The virus was already being spread throughout small parts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific islands (PMC) before the 2015/2016 outbreak. The few variables that may have made the virus a huge outbreak in the media may have been due to the fact there was an extremely high outbreak in Brazil which lead to the other variable being that the 2016 Summer Olympics were being held in Brazil.

The women in Brazil were advise to continue to have safe sex. But if the woman wanted to conceive a child, she was told to wait 3 or 5 years until the virus was more understood or controlled. Of course the women did not want to wait for that period of time, and not fully understanding their risks, they had children without knowing if they have contracted the virus themselves. 2016 was the real mark of the outbreak with 440,000-130,000,000 cases being in Brazil alone, but also in Caribbean and Latin American countries (PMC). Due to that large outbreak falling in line with the Summer Olympics, the media was all over this in a heart beat. It began to over shadow of what the people of Brazil really wanted the other countries to see and that was their political battle with their current and former president. The people of Brazil help protests, some wanting their president to be impeached, while others not wanting her to be impeached.

After mass media coverage (CNN, local news, twitter feed from American Athletes) people in well developed countries began to panic that there will be an outbreak just like the ones in Brazil. What people fail to realize that the majority of the outbreaks were in under or less developed countries who may not be capable in containing or controlling an outbreak. Even though there is no vaccine or cure for this virus, there is hope that one will come along but not for another few years, so until then, people are getting their facts straight on how to be safe and cautious.

Links:

PMC: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837632/

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2 thoughts on “Mass Media

  1. I really like how you included the overall health of more developed countries versus less developed countries, and how that could have an effect on the media portrayal of the virus. The whole situation reminds me of the Ebola scare from a couple years ago, and then H1N1 before that. I agree that it’s important to note the differences in communities involved, healthcare related and also how the disease could be spread. It’s also really interesting that the media caused a boost in awareness of the virus due to The Olympics, which makes a lot of sense, but was something I had never realized!

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  2. I remember reading the very first article on Zika and how it was causing babies to be born with abnormally small heads! It honestly scared me! I often discuss this topic with my aunt because she’s really into the environment like I am and we talk about how this is acting as a population regulator due to the fact that the human population is 3x over carrying capacity on this planet. First it was Ebola, which was caused to people moving into too close proximity of wild animals, and now this Zika disease that makes a babies life span to be much shorter! A lot of people nowadays would rather not make the connection that any of these things have anything to do with how we affect the environment.

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