Risk Analysis

Chronicling the Risk and Risk Communication by Governmental Officials During the Zika Threat

Journal Article


The unique circumstances surrounding Zika, including the fact that it is both mosquito‐borne and sexually transmissible, brought to the fore concerns about optimal ways to communicate risk in an environment characterized by rapidly evolving knowledge. The difficulty in doing so is magnified by the fact that science‐based health messages from governmental agencies must be developed in an evidence‐based, audience‐participative, and collaborative manner. A recent reminder in JAMA asserted the importance of preparing now for future threats. Understanding how the knowledge and messaging about Zika changed across time should help public health officials prepare for such challenges.

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