Xuerong Lu is a third year PhD student in public relations at Grady College. Her research interests focus on health, crisis communication, and risk communication. She is interested in the interactions between individuals and media in context of controversial topics. These include public attitudes toward emerging technology, public understanding of controversial science, the process underlying the attitude change and decision making of the public when exposed to the media.
“True or false: How parents decide to seek, vet, or share infectious disease outbreak information”
During the first nine months of 2019, there were 1,261 confirmed cases of measles in the United States. The infectious disease spread to 31 states, representing the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since 1992. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the measles are more likely to spread in communities that have groups of people who are unvaccinated. Rumors of negative vaccine fears have become salient to the public and shared frequently, creating an overexaggeration of the potential negative side effects. Preventative medicine scholars suggest that more accurate vaccine coverage, evidence-based media coverage, and social media be used in combination to combat misinformation surrounding vaccines. This presentation will address how parents The present study surveys parents of children ages 10 or younger to explore how vet information regarding a potential measles outbreak and other potential infectious disease outbreaks. The presentation will also offer insight into the characteristics of those people who are more likely to share, seek, or vet information which can inform public health communicators’ and health organizations’ strategies regarding infectious disease risk communication.