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64 MIN READ TIME

Partisan Pandemics Political Divisions Will Affect American Beliefs about the Zika Threat

MATTHEW NISBET

Matthew Nisbet is associate professor of communication at Northeastern University and a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry scientific consultant. From 1997 to 1999, he was public relations director for CSI.

In the lead up to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, global news attention has focused on the impact of the Zika virus in the country, including efforts to halt the spread of the mosquitoborne virus across Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions.

People who contract Zika are unlikely to experience symptoms. Those who do develop signs of infection experience a few days of body aches, rash, and fever, though in some cases there are more severe neurological and autoimmune effects. For many experts, this makes the Zika virus a potentially less serious public health problem than the lethal mosquito-transmitted pandemics of malaria and dengue.

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About Skeptical Inquirer

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In 2014, a group that believes Earth does not orbit
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COMMENTARIES
We always appreciate having a special relationship with you, our
It’s been a tough year for science. The American Statistical
SPECIAL REPORT
Art and science have a complex relationship. On the positive
“Much of my work has been about what we see,
NEWS AND COMMENT
While there are many factors in Donald Trump’s rise to
The world scientific community and the skeptic and freethought communities
Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, a longtime fellow of the Committee
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Skepticism has lost one of its most influential and accomplished
More than a half dozen Japanese taxi drivers claimed earlier
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is a former Pinkerton detective and historical
PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer
SCIENCE WATCH
Kenneth W. Krause is a contributing editor and “Science Watch”
BEHAVIOR & BELIEF
Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and author of Believing in
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
NEW AND NOTABLE
BAD UFOS: Critical Thinking about UFO Claims. Robert Sheaffer. Sheaffer
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I wonder how much experience those who say race is
THE LAST LAUGH
July 1, 1926: Parapsychologist J.B. Rhine attends a séance by
REVIEWS
Extrasensory Perception is divided into two volumes, the first titled
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