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Who bears the burden of disease prevention and reproductive control : a content analysis of state health department information on Zika virus
Marianne A. Kellogg
May 10, 2017
Department or Program
Between October 2015 and May 2017, Zika virus has become a prominent epidemic that is affecting countries across the world. Zika virus provides the opportunity to understand who is responsible for disease management within the United States’ society. Furthermore, because of the relationship between Zika and birth defects, Zika provides the unique opportunity to examine whether information regarding disease prevention and reproduction is more often targeted at women than men. Utilizing neoliberalist and feminist theories, I proposed that Zika prevention messages would be targeted at the individual more often than group levels of society, and that there would be more messages solely targeted at women than at men. I analyzed content for 155 documents obtained from the websites of 20 state Departments of Health, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The results indicate that Zika virus prevention strategies take a neoliberalist approach, emphasizing the role of the individual in preventing disease. Furthermore, results also indicate that women are seen as responsible for protecting their pregnancies from the dangers of Zika virus.