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Desacatos

versión On-line ISSN 1607-050X

Resumen

MENENDEZ, Eduardo L.. Facts and reasons. The so feared by everyone influenza or the difficult uses of knowledge. Desacatos [online]. 2010, n.32, pp. 17-34. ISSN 1607-050X.

This study describes and analyzes information generated by Mexican national newspapers and journals specialized on public health concerning the possibly epidemic "avian influenza" that occurred by the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006. For this episode, we observe multiple similarities with the April - June 2009 outbreak of influenza A (H1N1). Our research seeks to reveal that the scaremongering that characterized how the media managed this situation is not only a media-related outcome, but a correlate of that observed in health institutions as well as the response of their officials and members of scientific and technical disciplines. This scaremongering is the product derived from multiple factors, including economic and political interests of several social sectors; notwithstanding, it results mainly from the wavering between uncertainty and the need of intervention that characterizes actions of the health sector, when it has to deal with possible but imprecise situations of collective risk.

Palabras llave : media; intellectuals; infectious-contagious diseases.

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