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Experts warn against panic

15 Oct, 2014

Experts warn that panic over Ebola can be more harmful than the virus itself. They say that public concerns over previous health scares have have led to heightened anxiety, avoidance of public places, to hysteria. They cite the fact that the flu virus has at times killed 30,000 people in a single year in the U.S., and say that statistics make the risk of Ebola very small. To address this, health officials need to show competence and fairness: communicating risks clearly, reporting all cases as quickly as possible, and treating each infection with the maximum level of care.Carnegie Mellon University professor of economics and psychology George Loewenstein:

The system often flips from one extreme to another, from ignoring risks altogether and then overreacting