Tag Archives: James Dillard

Fear itself: Disease outbreak reports could cause health problems

“There is evidence that fear of disaster or disease can bring about coronary heart disease, a weakened immune system, and psychological distress,” says James Dillard. “In the case of Zika, women of child-bearing age who are attentive to media coverage might be particularly vulnerable to the type of fear that can have health repercussions.”

Aedes aegypti , one of the transmitters Zika virus. Wikimedia Commons
Aedes aegypti , one of the transmitters Zika virus. Wikimedia Commons

Less than two years after the Ebola scare spread through the country, the threat of a Zika virus outbreak is starting to frighten Americans, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

The fear of these diseases, however, may end up affecting more people’s health and causing more disruption to society than the diseases themselves, said James Dillard, professor of communication arts and sciences.¬† Continue reading Fear itself: Disease outbreak reports could cause health problems