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August 10th, 2014
01:07 PM ET

Ebola coverage: informing vs. overhyping

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on responsible reporting during a health crisis like the Ebola outbreak.

Here are some of the highlights from the conversation...

>> "It's a teachable moment, I think, if it's done properly."

>> Dr. Gupta on two extremes: "There are people who are really, really sort of nurturing that hysteria... And the other side, the other extreme is people [who] are completely dismissive of fears, very clinical, just presenting the science. And as you might guess, I think the right way for television is somewhere in between, obviously making sure the science trumps it."

>> Dr. Gupta agreed with Stelter that there is sometimes "a disconnect between what people are hearing from the people on TV and what they're reading in the banners... We try to have conversations with the shows ahead of time, when I'm doing segments, to make sure that doesn't happen. It's a real concern."

>> "I think the layers to this story are really essential, really... Just the headline, that's a real problem. But adding one more layer over that is absolutely essential. Tom Frieden, the CDC director, says 'Ebola is going to come to the United States.' That's the headline. The second line he says after that, 'but it will not cause an outbreak.' You can't have the first without the second."


Filed under: Reliable Sources
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Barry

    If incubation of Ebola virus is 21 days, all people coming from critical countries should go through preventive quarantine for 21days. Patient in Dallas came to US with virus already in his body, he did not get infected after 20th September. He got infected before that date ! Virus spreading by body fluid will be present in vomit, feces and urine. What is being done to isolate this matter. What is being done about this also in Dallas where infected patient these bodily fluids are now present in public sewer ?!! Can you be specific on this already existing danger ?

    October 1, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  2. Sam

    DR. Gupta the contaminated
    materials that was taked form the infected people, will this maternal be distroyed? Also how well is it protected? I have great concern.

    August 21, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
  3. ker

    AFRICA IS HOT SO IT DOESNT LIVE AS LONG ON HARD SURFACES IN THE HEAT AND SUN...NEW YORK WINTER IS PRIME CONDITIONS FOR EBOLA TO THRIVE...SEE YOU IN A FEW MONTHS WHEN THE #$%$ HITS THE FAN...JUST LIKE THE FINANCIAL CRISIS..THE EXPERTS KEPT SAYING THE MARKET WASNT GOING TO TANK...HERE WE GO AGAIN...AND IT ISNT UNTIL THE #$%$ HITS THE FAN THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING..ONLY DIFFERENCE IS WITH THE FINANCIAL CRISIS PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIFE SAVINGS AND NOW PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOSE THEIR LIVES DUE TO IRRESPONSIBLE GREEDY BSTRDS!

    IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE A REALITY IF THEY PREVENTED IT INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT HURTING THE AIRLINES BOTTOM LINE! FLU SEASON IS COMING UP... WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE ON THE SUBWAY IF SOMEONE THROWS UP ON THE SUBWAY ?? EBOLA LIVES BETTER IN COLD CONDITIONS...IT WILL THRIVE ON NEW YORK SUBWAYS HARD SURFACES IN THE WINTER....YOUR INTELLIGENCE LEVEL WILL SHOW IN A FEW MONTHS GUARANTEED!

    August 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  4. Jon

    The press is not reporting this properly. Over hyping? How about misreporting. The press has been irresponsible from day 1. They started off by claiming it can't be transmitted by air, claiming that you can't catch it because it would burn itself out. The next article they say it has a 2 to 21 day incubation period before even becoming symptomatic. They claim it takes more than casual contact with body fluids, and while this may be true, they neglect to inform people that people that spray when they speak aren't a risk to your life. The list goes on and on and on. If they did their job right from day one, I bet, the outbreak would have been contained much earlier. Instead, they ignored this case until, it's pretty much too late. I still hold out hope that it will be contained in these countries, but it's getting less and less likely as time goes on. I don't mean to scare people, but informing them is the only way to make sure it becomes contained quickly.

    August 11, 2014 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • ker

      agree!

      August 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply

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