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Media constructions of fear in the outbreak of an epidemic disease: The case of dengue fever in Argentina

Maximillano Korstanje (Department of Economics, University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Babu George (College of Business and Economics, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN: 2047-0894

Article publication date: 3 May 2016




After almost a decade, the re-appearance of dengue fever in Argentina caused panic and fears. Unlike Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay, where prevention policies have been followed, the future of dengue is uncertain in Argentina; the present paper does not have political affiliation but the purpose of this paper is to emphasizes the role that mass media plays in the coverage of epidemics.


In moments of disorder, uncertainness or disaster, societies experience a shift in the ways they perceive their reality.


In the times, media plays a dominant role in constructing the reality that the authors get to consume. Such reality is reflective of media’s own biases and those of the vested interests that control the media.


This essay draws from social psychology and allied literature to highlight how the recent reemergence of dengue in Argentina was employed as a lever for achieving a range of ulterior objectives.



Korstanje, M. and George, B. (2016), "Media constructions of fear in the outbreak of an epidemic disease: The case of dengue fever in Argentina", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 95-104.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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