Fear factor: The unseen perils of the Ebola outbreak

A healthcare social media research article published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, August 10, 2016

Title
Fear factor: The unseen perils of the Ebola outbreak
Authors (alpha)
James M. Shultz
Published
August 10, 2016
Journal
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Impact Factor
0.69
DOI
10.1080/00963402.2016.1216515
Pubmed
28966412
Altmetric
A healthcare social media research article published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, August 10, 2016

Abstract

As illustrated powerfully by the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in western Africa, infectious diseases create fear and psychological reactions. Frequently, fear transforms into action - or inaction - and manifests as "fear-related behaviors" capable of amplifying the spread of disease, impeding lifesaving medical care for Ebola-infected persons and patients with other serious medical conditions, increasing psychological distress and disorder, and exacerbating social problems. And as the case of the US micro-outbreak shows, fear of an infectious-disease threat can spread explosively even when an epidemic has little chance of materializing. Authorities must take these realities into account if they hope to reduce the deadly effects of fear during future outbreaks.


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Altmetric

The Altmetric Attention Score is based on the attention a research article gets on the internet. Each coloured thread in the circle represents a different type of online attention and the number in the centre is the Altmetric Attention Score. The score is calculated based on two main sources of online attention: social media and mainstream news media.