Zika virus pandemic-analysis of Facebook as a social media health information platform

Am J Infect Control. 2017 Mar 1;45(3):301-302. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.08.022. Epub 2016 Oct 21.


The arrival of Zika virus in the United States has generated a lot of activity on social media focusing on the algorithmic increase in the spread of the disease and its concerning complications. Accurate and credible dissemination of correct information about the arbovirus could help in decreasing the pandemic spread and associated apprehension in the population. Our study examined the effective use of the social media site Facebook (Facebook Inc, Menlo Park, CA) as an information source for the Zika virus pandemic. We found that the misleading posts were far more popular than the posts dispersing accurate, relevant public health information about the disease.

Keywords: Conspiracy theory; Epidemic; Public health; Viral.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Pandemics*
  • Social Media*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Zika Virus Infection / epidemiology*