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From concerned citizens to activists: a case study of 2015 South Korean MERS outbreak
This study investigated the cognitive-affective-behavioral sequence of public activism by examining the role of citizens’ perception of government dialogic communication during a national pandemic crisis. Through a case study of the 2015 Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, the results of a survey of 400 South Korean citizens showed that distrust in government and a high level of situational uncertainty were significantly mitigated by citizens’ perceptions of government efforts for dialogic communication during the crisis. Conversely, when the perception of dialogic government communication was low, high distrust in government increased cynicism, anger, and anxiety among citizens; high situational uncertainty led to higher levels of anger and anxiety, but not cynicism. Consequently, the findings showed that anger, anxiety, and cynicism significantly motivated citizens’ intentions to take actions against the government. Direct and positive effects of anger, anxiety, and cynicism on activism participation were not found and were mediated by the citizens’ activism intentions.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and human-camel relationships in Qatar
This article investigates camel raising as a possible cause of transmission of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) on the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on collective research among camel workers in Qatar, it shows the difficulties of asking questions about camel raising in the context of a potential zoonosis, given the secretive nature of herding practices and the values attached to camels in Arab societies. It suggests that the concentration of camels in farms and central markets after the ban of camel grazing as well as the revival of the tradition of drinking camel milk have increased the risks of the transmission of MERS-CoV from camels to humans. The recent valorisation of camels, in the context of the transformation of Qatar from a pastoral economy to a global trade centre, may appear to be an obstacle in the surveillance of MERS-CoV, since camel owners are prone to denying that their animals are infected, but it can be converted into an asset if public health becomes a key element of national pride alongside camel raising.
Gender dynamics and socio-cultural determinants of middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-Cov) in Saudi Arabia
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a severe viral respiratory illness that is caused by a new strain from the beta group of coronavirus (CoV). At both the global and national level (Saudi Arabia), men are at a greater risk of contracting the virus (68%) in comparison to women. This disparity presents an interesting question: What accounts for these observed sex differences in MERS infection rates? Using an analytic lens that considers the unique dynamics of socially constructed and specific gender roles, this review challenges the common assumption that biological differences in vulnerability (genetic disposition) are the primary drivers for the disparate male infection rates. Specifically, the author uses a gender-based analysis (GBA) to explore gender-based risk factors within Saudi Arabia that may contribute to this disparity. The findings of this review suggest that particular gendered risk factors including religious (Hajj) and cultural practices (shisha smoking), and social roles pertaining to livestock management (dromedary camels) may create different exposures to MERS-CoV. Ultimately, this research illustrates a significant gap in the current knowledge and understanding of how gender dynamics affect infectious diseases, especially concerning the issue of containment of and protection from MERS. [MERS, MERS-CoV, Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome, Gender-based Analysis]
A note on language
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No
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