The Ebola Virus

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Much like the virus itself, the geographically specific prevalence as well as perceptions of the Ebola virus within certain societies have evolved between the years 1990 and 2015. The current number of cases as well as social views and beliefs about Ebola are society specific and therefore geographically specific. Economic, cultural and lifestyle differences serve as determinants of these contrasting perceptions of Ebola between 1st and 3rd world countries. The ‘perception–behavior link’ described by T.Chartrand and J Bargh (the Chameleon effect 1990 ) explains how societies adopt common perceptions which in turn shapes their behaviour. The large scale social perceptions can therefore shape the behaviour of societies in response to the Ebola …show more content…
This is as a result of the clash between the 1st and 3rd world cultures and beliefs. The faith of many African cultural communities in Ebola infected countries, resides in their traditional healers rather than international medical doctors, and as a result locals are more inclined to accept information and treatment from traditional healers who share their cultural beliefs, rather than the biomedical information and treatment of international doctors which is foreign to them. This lack of cooperation due to cultural differences, according to The Huffington Post , is a contributing factor the prevalence of Ebola in African countries. (J. Elgot: 2014)
With the surge of global interest in the 2014 Ebola outbreak a new counter perception of Ebola has emerged out of academic cultural groups. These groups aim to explain the aetiology and prevalence of this virus through conspiracy theories. This primarily occurs in developed countries with well-educated individuals who have freedom of though and expression. Mark Fenster proposed the idea that Ebola is a human initiated virus that was released by pharmaceutical companies in order to generate a profit-generating cure. (Alan Feuer:
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Furthermore this population regulating factor has been specifically released into underprivileged countries, such as West African countries. As a result, the virus will rapidly become more prevalent because these countries are defenceless due to the absence of efficient medical infrastructure and funds to implement necessary treatment and care of Ebola patients. (Joachim Hagopian;2014) The perceptions of conspiracy theorists stand in contrast to the perceptions of other first and 3rd world perceptions, largely because there is little evidence to support t these

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