Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorSams, Kelley
dc.contributor.authorGrant, Catherine
dc.contributor.authorDesclaux, Alice
dc.contributor.authorSow, Khoudia
dc.identifier.citationSams, K.; Grant, C.; Desclaux, A. and Sow, K. (2022) '​Disease X and Africa: How a Scientific Metaphor Entered Popular Imaginaries of the Online Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Medicine Anthropology Theory, 9(2), 1-28, DOI: 10.17157/mat.9.2.5611en
dc.description.abstractIn 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the addition of Disease X, a hypothetical infectious threat, to its blueprint list of priority diseases. In the construction of discourse that circulated following this announcement, conceptions of Disease X intersected with representations of Africa. In our article, we share a broad strokes analysis of internet narratives about Disease X and Africa in the six months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (July–December 2019) and during its first six months (January–June 2020). Our analysis focuses on how the scientific concept of Disease X was applied by ‘non-experts’ to make meaning from risk, uncertainty, and response. These non-experts drew in parallel upon more general representations of power, fear, and danger. This research is particularly relevant at the time of writing, as online narratives about COVID-19 vaccination are shaping vaccine anxiety throughout the world by drawing upon similar conceptions of agency and inequality. Because Disease X in Africa still looms as a perceived future threat, considering the narratives presented in this paper can provide insight into how people create meaning when faced with a scientific concept, a global health crisis, and the idea that there are other crises yet to come.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofseries;Volume 9, Number 2
dc.titleDisease X and Africa: How a Scientific Metaphor Entered Popular Imaginaries of the Online Public During the COVID-19 Pandemicen
dc.rights.holderCopyright (c) 2022 Kelley Sams, Catherine Grant, Alice Desclaux, and Khoudia Sowen
rioxxterms.funderDefault funderen

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as