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Quantifying Media Effects, Its Content, and Role in Promoting Community Awareness of Chikungunya Epidemic in Bangladesh

Department of Pharmacy, East West University, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Department of Public Health and Prevention Sciences, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH 44017, USA
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
Department of Pharmacy, Dhaka International University, Dhaka 1213, Bangladesh
School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Ulster University, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
Grupo de Investigacion Biomedicina, Faculty of Medicine, Fundacion Universitaria Autonoma de las Americas, Pereira, Risaralda 660003, Colombia
Department of Current Affairs and Programming, DAWN News TV, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
School of Architecture, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, San Nicolás de los Garza, NL 66455, Mexico
Department of Statistics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mya Myat Ngwe Tun
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 22 February 2021 / Accepted: 28 February 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arbovirus Infection)
Background: Chikungunya is a vector-borne disease, mostly present in tropical and subtropical regions. The virus is spread by Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitos and symptoms include high fever to severe joint pain. Dhaka, Bangladesh, suffered an outbreak of chikungunya in 2017 lasting from April to September. With the goal of reducing cases, social media was at the forefront during this outbreak and educated the public about symptoms, prevention, and control of the virus. Popular web-based sources such as the top dailies in Bangladesh, local news outlets, and Facebook spread awareness of the outbreak. Objective: This study sought to investigate the role of social and mainstream media during the chikungunya epidemic. The study objective was to determine if social media can improve awareness of and practice associated with reducing cases of chikungunya. Methods: We collected chikungunya-related information circulated from the top nine television channels in Dhaka, Bangladesh, airing from 1st April–20th August 2017. All the news published in the top six dailies in Bangladesh were also compiled. The 50 most viewed chikungunya-related Bengali videos were manually coded and analyzed. Other social media outlets, such as Facebook, were also analyzed to determine the number of chikungunya-related posts and responses to these posts. Results: Our study showed that media outlets were associated with reducing cases of chikungunya, indicating that media has the potential to impact future outbreaks of these alpha viruses. Each media outlet (e.g., web, television) had an impact on the human response to an individual’s healthcare during this outbreak. Conclusions: To prevent future outbreaks of chikungunya, media outlets and social media can be used to educate the public regarding prevention strategies such as encouraging safe travel, removing stagnant water sources, and assisting with tracking cases globally to determine where future outbreaks may occur. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alphavirus; Facebook; epidemic; social media; Bangladesh Alphavirus; Facebook; epidemic; social media; Bangladesh
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MDPI and ACS Style

Begum, M.M.; Ulvi, O.; Karamehic-Muratovic, A.; Walsh, M.R.; Tarek, H.; Lubinda, J.; Rodriguez-Morales, A.J.; Sarfraz, S.; Treviño C, J.A.; Shad, M.Y.; Haque, U. Quantifying Media Effects, Its Content, and Role in Promoting Community Awareness of Chikungunya Epidemic in Bangladesh. Epidemiologia 2021, 2, 84-94.

AMA Style

Begum MM, Ulvi O, Karamehic-Muratovic A, Walsh MR, Tarek H, Lubinda J, Rodriguez-Morales AJ, Sarfraz S, Treviño C JA, Shad MY, Haque U. Quantifying Media Effects, Its Content, and Role in Promoting Community Awareness of Chikungunya Epidemic in Bangladesh. Epidemiologia. 2021; 2(1):84-94.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Begum, Mst. M., Osman Ulvi, Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic, Mallory R. Walsh, Hasan Tarek, Jailos Lubinda, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales, Shehzad Sarfraz, Jesús A. Treviño C, Muhammad Y. Shad, and Ubydul Haque. 2021. "Quantifying Media Effects, Its Content, and Role in Promoting Community Awareness of Chikungunya Epidemic in Bangladesh" Epidemiologia 2, no. 1: 84-94.

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