I found it quite interesting in class when we spoke upon understanding risk. Risk is defined as “A way of expressing the chance that something will happen. Risk is the same as probability, but it usually is used to describe the probability of an adverse event” (Class Powerpoint). As the world continuously evolves into the digital media society we live in, exposure to diseases seems to be a tremendous risk factor when traveling. Over the last few years we have grown a tremendous amount of knowledge about Ebola because of the large outbreak and people affected by the disease last year. Now the world is beginning to see the start of another deadly disease, Zika.
Now when we travel as individuals we have to take into considerations that were putting our health at risk. Some people decided not to travel to view the Olympics in Brazil because of the large out break. This explains why star athletes decided to sit out, “Some of the world’s best athletes such as Steph Curry, Rory Mcllroy and Jordan Spieth even cited concern over the virus when withdrawing from the games.” (Ward Henninger). These star athletes fell into the individual bias of health by not participating because the media affected their views about the dangers of the disease influencing them. Although to be fair, the athletes could have easily been affected by Zika. However, the Zika virus affected not one single athelete at the Olympics.
As we become more knowledgeable of the virus the media can very well change our perception on how we view our risks. Risk is highly inherently social so whatever information we read from our newspapers, social medias, and watching the news can influence how we make our decisions on the Zika virus. For example, over the last few weeks there have been more reports released about Zika infections in Florida. This information has affected the amount of people that will travel to Florida due to the high risk factor of being infected. Due to the access of information about the infectious Zika virus, individuals in the United States are reframing their health risk by traveling less to the state of Florida. Focusing in on a specific group of people and that’s women who are pregnant. The side affects of a pregnant woman getting Zika can be deadly or birth defects such as an abnormally small head for the baby. There are even more affects for babies infected like microcephaly, a devastating brain malformation, or with eye and ear defects. According to the Miami Herald, “The agency reported 771 Zika infections statewide, including 621 travel- related cases, 64 local cases and 86 pregnant women” (Miami Herald, Chang & Flechas).
The amount of women that are pregnant getting tested for the virus is skyrocketing. Even those women who aren’t affected by the disease are starting be affected by the levels of stress they encounter during pregnancy. The worry of protecting yourself and your unborn baby could potential cause detrimental stress. Hopefully we will start to inform the pregnant on how to prevent high-risk situations. In the near future we optimistically will see Zika decline not only in our country, but also internationally.