Knowledge and risk perceptions of the Ebola virus in the United States

Jonathan J. Rolison, Yaniv Hanoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objectives
The Ebola epidemic has received extensive media coverage since the first diagnosed cases of the virus in the US. We investigated risk perceptions of Ebola among individuals living in the US and measured their knowledge of the virus.

Method
US residents completed an online survey (conducted 14–18 November 2014) that assessed their Ebola knowledge and risk perceptions.

Results
Respondents who were more knowledgeable of Ebola perceived less risk of contracting the virus and were less worried about the virus, but also regarded Ebola as more serious than less knowledgeable respondents. The internet served as a major source of additional information among knowledgeable respondents.

Conclusion
The findings suggest that the provision of health information about Ebola may be effective in informing the public about Ebola risks and of preventive measures without curtailing the seriousness of the virus. Policymakers may seek to further exploit the internet as a means of delivering information about Ebola in the US and worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-264
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume2
Early online date16 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Ebola virus; Health risk appraisal; Health knowledge; Attitudes; Practice; Disease outbreaks

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