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Role of mistrust and misinformation in the current DR Congo Ebolavirus outbreak

August 07, 2019

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The authors were interested in the role of trust and misinformation on individual preventive behaviours during the outbreak of Ebolavirus disease (EVD) in the DR Congo. They surveyed 961 adults during a 2-week period in September 2018, selected using a multistage sampling design in Beni and Butembo in North Kivu, DR Congo. Among the 961 respondents, 31·9% trusted that local authorities represented their interests. Belief in misinformation was widespread, with 25·5% of respondents believing that the Ebolavirus outbreak was not real. Low institutional trust and belief in misinformation were associated with a significantly decreased likelihood of adopting preventive behaviours, including acceptance of Ebolavirus vaccines (odds ratio [OR] 0·22, 95%CI 0·21-0·22; and OR 1·40, 95%CI 1·39-1·42, respectively) and seeking formal healthcare (OR 0·06, 95%CI 0·05-0·06; and OR 1·16, 95%CI 1·15-1·17, respectively). Therefore mistrust and misinformation lead to a refusal to seek formal medical care or accept vaccines during an EVD outbreak.

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Vinck P, Pham PN, Bindu KK, Bedford J & Nilles EJ ISSN: Lancet Infect Dis; 19(5): 529-536

2019

Added: August 07, 2019