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Identifying the public's concerns and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's reactions during a health crisis: An analysis of a Zika live Twitter chat

  • Elizabeth M. Glowacki
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Elizabeth M. Glowacki, MA, Department of Communication Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2504A Whitis Ave (A1105), CMA 7.112, Austin, TX 78712-0115. (E.M. Glowacki).
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Department of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
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  • Allison J. Lazard
    Affiliations
    School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Gary B. Wilcox
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
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  • Michael Mackert
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, The University of Texas, Houston, TX
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  • Jay M. Bernhardt
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Department of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

    Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
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Published:August 18, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.05.025

      Highlights

      • Health organizations can use Twitter to spread information about health threats.
      • The public and CDC are concerned about the spread of Zika and forms of transmission.
      • The public is concerned about the consequences of Zika for pregnant women and babies.
      • The CDC used Twitter to give information about Zika symptoms and educational content.
      The arrival of the Zika virus in the United States caused much concern among the public because of its ease of transmission and serious consequences for pregnant women and their newborns. We conducted a text analysis to examine original tweets from the public and responses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during a live Twitter chat hosted by the CDC. Both the public and the CDC expressed concern about the spread of Zika virus, but the public showed more concern about the consequences it had for women and babies, whereas the CDC focused more on symptoms and education.

      Key Words

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