The Effect of the Media on the Spread of Contagious Diseases

There has been growing recognition of the role that media communications plays in both curtailing and/or promoting the spread of diseases. In this context media is not restricted to the traditional forms of journalism, i.e. print, radio, and television, as it also includes social media platforms, such as Twitter. Media coverage has the potential to both change human behaviour in both desirable and undesirable ways. As an example of the latter, the perception of risk due to taking vaccines — mostly driven by the use of social media platforms — has contributed to the raise in the anti-vaccination movement. The aim of this project is to examine models for disease spread which include the effects of the media.

Tianze Wei

University of Wollongong

Tianze is commencing his third year of a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance (Dean’s Scholar) at the University of Wollongong and intends on completing an Honours year in 2022. Tianze is intrigued by the niche applications of mathematics, especially in the realm of finance, as well as the infinite potential of mathematics in solving real-life problems. Recently, he has taken a strong interest in the biological applications that mathematics has to offer, and is set on investigating ways in which mathematical tools can be harnessed to beat the current pandemic.

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