Via Dominica News Online: Major 'barrier' in fight against Chikungunya. Excerpt:
The reluctance of Dominicans to believe that Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitos is proving to be a major headache as health officials continue to battle the disease.
“One of the major barriers is that people are reluctant to believe that the mosquito is involved,” District Medical Officer Dr Candia Jacob told a panel discussion on the disease in Cottage on Wednesday night. “If they are not convinced, they are not going to do much…”
She pointed out that the matter has gotten so bad that environmental health officers have taken to threatening people with the law if they don’t get rid of containers that breed mosquitos.
“We have the environmental health officers actually having to go to homes and overturn the drums,” she stated. “They literally take up on themselves to empty drums, turn them over … and threaten people that they going to put them in jail.”
She noted that even sick people who turn up for medical treatment don’t believe the disease is transmitted by mosquitos.
“So I think that is where we have a barrier to limiting the number of new cases,” Dr. Jacob remarked.
Economist Paul Krugman has called this the argument from personal incredulity: If you can't believe something, it can't be true. Similarly, I gather a lot of people in West Africa don't even believe Ebola exists.