Last week nature published the story titled “Africa declared free from wild polio — but vaccine-derived strains remain”. I accentuated the word “strains” because its use in the title is a clever way of misleading the people’s attention. Instead of calling it vaccine-derived polio or simply polio caused by the vaccine-derived virus, the title uses the jargon term “strains” that many lay readers, especially in the third world, don’t readily understand. But the same title uses the term “wild polio” when they claim victory over it earlier in the title.
Then you look at the sub-heading of the story which reads: No new cases of wild poliovirus have been recorded on the continent since 2016, but other types of the virus persist. They use the words “other types of virus” instead of calling it the virus which comes in the polio vaccine. So the way nature phrases the story – beginning right from the title – the reader’s attention is linguistically dodged so as not to make the oral polio vaccine sound like the carrier of the dangerous virus that causes polio in many children.
My video breaks down the story further and shows the psycho-linguistic deceit at play in the story.