Updated: December 18, 2016

Zika and Ebola Risk Communication

Starting in August 2014, I began doing a lot of writing and giving a lot of media interviews on Ebola risk communication, much of it in conjunction with my wife and colleague Jody Lanard. Jody did some Ebola writing and interviews on her own as well.

Starting in late January 2016, we started writing about Zika – both emails in response to reporters’ queries and writing on our own initiative specifically for this website. The Zika tally is a lot shorter (so far, at least) than the Ebola tally. We hope it will stay that way.

Below are three lists, all three in reverse chronological order:

Everything about Zika – Onsite and Off, By Us and Quoting Us

Peter M. Sandman, Titrating warnings: a Zika example (December 18, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman, U.S. Public Health Professionals Routinely Mislead the Public about Infectious Diseases: True or False? Dishonest or Self-Deceptive? Harmful or Benign? (October 5, 2016)

Elizabeth Whitman, Zika Virus In The US: How The Outbreak Became A Public Relations Mess (June 8, 2016)

Jody Lanard and Peter M. Sandman, Zika Risk in U.S. States: Widespread or Limited? The White House Hijacks a Key CDC Message to Attack Republicans; Public Health Officials and Reporters Mostly Go Along (May 27, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Zika Rumors (February 22, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Some Additional Zika Risk Communication Notes (February 16, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman, Three Kinds of Zika Risk Communication (excerpted from a February 15, 2016 panel discussion)

Faye Flam, Squeezed Between Zika Panic and Complacency Posted on Bloomberg View (February 1, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Zika Risk Communication: WHO and CDC Are Doing a Mostly Excellent Job So Far (January 31, 2016)

Ebola Writing by Us and On Our Website

Peter M. Sandman, U.S. Public Health Professionals Routinely Mislead the Public about Infectious Diseases: True or False? Dishonest or Self-Deceptive? Harmful or Benign? (October 5, 2016)

Peter M. Sandman, How to respond to reactance: an op-ed dissing infectious disease experts as “prophets of doom” (January 16, 2015)

Peter M. Sandman, Ebola in the U.S. (So Far): The Public Health Establishment and the Quarantine Debate (November 15, 2014)

Jody Lanard and Peter M. Sandman, Ebola: Failures of Imagination (October 24, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman, How should health officials handle off-the-wall social media responses to their Ebola posts? (October 22, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman, Official Ebola Risk Communication: “Don’t Scare the Children” (38-minute audio file of interview with Betsy McKay of the Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Ebola Blame and Ebola Apology (October 12 and October 13, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Coping with Ebola stigma (October 11, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman, Three Priorities for Ebola Messaging (October 10, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, Ebola Risk Communication: Talking about Ebola in Dallas, West Africa, and the World (October 6, 2014)

This website column consists of three emails to journalists:

Email 1:
Email 2:Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, What Needs to Change in Ebola Risk Communication: Pivoting away from Dallas (October 5, 2014)
Email 3:Peter M. Sandman, Three Ebola News Stories: Dallas, West Africa, and What-If (October 6, 2014)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, An Ebola Empathy Exercise (pure speculation, based on hypothetical what-ifs) (October 3, 2014)

Offsite Ebola Articles that We Wrote or
that Quote Us

Anat Gesser-Edelsburg and Yaffa Shir-Raz, Science vs. fear: the Ebola quarantine debate as a case study that reveals how the public perceives risk, Journal of Risk Research, 2015 (published online November 5, 2015)

Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard, COMMENTARY: When the Next Shoe Drops – Ebola Crisis Communication Lessons from October (posted on the website of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, December 9, 2014)

Nancy Shute, Why It’s OK To Worry About Ebola, And What’s Truly Scary (posted on the NPR website, October 30, 2014

Jody Lanard, How Rational Are Our Fears of Ebola? (radio interview with Jeremy Hobson, aired on PBS, October 16, 2014)

Elise Viebeck, Health officials struggle to control the media narrative about Ebola (published in The Hill, October 12, 2014)

Kai Kupferschmidt, How to talk to the public about Ebola: Five tips from risk communication experts (posted on ScienceInsider, October 9, 2014)

F.D. Flam, Ebola Outbreak As Black Swan: How To Think Clearly About An Unpredictable Hazard (posted on the Forbes website, October 7, 2014)

Ellis E. Conklin, Health Care Risk Expert: There Are Little If Any Signs of Ebola Panic in the U.S. (published in Seattle Weekly, October 7, 2014)

Paul Farhi Media goes overtime on Ebola coverage, but not necessarily overboard (published in the Washington Post, October 6, 2014)

Jody Lanard, In Anticipation Of Scoffing & Debate About CDC Ebola Numbers (posted on Avian Flu Diary, September 23, 2014)

Maggie Fox, Why Are Americans so Scared of Ebola? (posted on the NBC News website, August 26, 2014)

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Contact Information:   Peter M. Sandman

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