Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Article on Zombies Published in Emerging Infectious Diseases
Here is an interesting article that was just published in Emerging Infectious Diseases on the use of the public's general fascination with zombies for public health education.

The article refers to back to an earlier CDC blog post that used a "zombie apocalypse" as a vehicle for educating about disaster preparedness. I definitely remember when this clever 2011 CDC blog post was published, and the general content of the message. I have to admit that I can not recall any other general disaster preparedness messages delivered by the CDC or any other group... perhaps there really is something to tying health messages to fictional, highly memorable content?

The current Emerging Infectious Diseases article provides both historical background information on zombies as well as information on their popularity across a variety of media/ entertainment platforms (books, films, video games, et cetera).

The article discuss how public health messages that pull from fictional depictions of zombies could be used to educate about such real-world issues as infection control, risk for bioterrorism, disaster preparedness, provide a framework for ethical discussions, et cetera.

The authors provide a real-world example of the mass killing of 50,000 or so dogs in Bali in 2008 in an effort to control a rabies outbreak; this led to a discussion about the most optimal, ethical, control of rabies in a given area (e.g., mass killing versus vaccination). The authors of the Emerging Infectious Diseases article posit that ethical dilemmas depicted in fictional dramas (such as those involving zombies) can help provide a relatable framework for real-life infection control and infectious diseases issues.

Anyway, I am going to stop blogging now so I can go work on my emergency kit/ plan; you never know.

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