Public reliance on risk communication channels in the wake of a cryptosporidium outbreak

Risk Anal. 1998 Aug;18(4):367-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1998.tb00350.x.


In the spring of 1993, about 39% of Milwaukee-area residents suffered through a nationally publicized illness brought about by cryptosporidium, a parasite that had infested the metropolitan drinking water supply. Our study, based on a telephone survey of 610 local adult residents, indicates that worry about becoming ill in the future with cryptosporidiosis relates more strongly and consistently to public reliance on, and use of, media for cryptosporidium information than do a range of risk perception and experience variables. We propose that more studies should take an audience-centered approach to understanding risk communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Communications Media*
  • Cryptosporidiosis / epidemiology*
  • Cryptosporidiosis / psychology
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Public Health*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk*
  • Water / parasitology
  • Water Supply
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology


  • Water