Zika Virus News: Conspiracy Theories, Claims on Twitter Could Hinder Zika VaccinationBy Anita Valencia, UniversityHerald Reporter
Zika virus news on social media like Twitter could hinder Zika vaccination decisions. Johns Hopkins University researcher found that many people post news on Zika symptoms and theories that might be false.
Mark Dredze studied on thousands of tweets on Zika vaccine. He found that some information do not lead to any correct issue but it would affect how someone makes a health decision- whether to vaccinate or not, John Hopkins University Hub reported. 140,000 tweets on Zika vaccine from January 1 to April 29
Researchers investigated Zika virus news and soon find various information that go viral on Twitter. The study uses two keywords, 'Zika' and 'vaccine'.
Dredze took an example of a false theory he found on Zika disease. It said that Zika is a conspiracy made to open new vaccine market. The study published in Vaccine journal also highlights another story about Zika virus baby also said that Zika is actually caused by a vaccine which result brain defect in babies, microcephaly condition.
Furthermore, researchers are concerned on the impact that these conspiracy theories and unscientific plots can cause. The campaign is effective but the future of the vaccine might meet a difficulty because of the stories not backed by scientific evidence.
The science-backed claims are true, but the conspiracy theories on Zika virus and symptoms could make people believe the plots.
According to researchers, people affected by the false claims are the most vulnerable communities which least access to the correct theories.
Researcher at George Washington University uses social media monitoring tool to find conversations on Zika virus on Twitter. The correct Zika vaccine theories could be addressed via social network so that it counteracts the false statements on the virus. The efforts now rely on public health experts promptness in responding the claims so people could discover the truth.