This letter to the editor reports on the health effects of exposure to new coverage of COVID-19 and offers recommendations for government and public health officials to lessen public anxiety.
“Headline stress disorder” is a highly emotional response to endless news reports of anxiety-inducing crises. This has been documented in the United States following the Ebola outbreak and in Nigeria with the monkeypox outbreak. Now, with the insurgence of COVID-19, China is witnessing the same disorder. To help lessen stress and anxiety, it is recommended that media disseminate information that increases knowledge and prevention efforts but avoids sensationalizing the epidemic. The government and public health organizations have a responsibility to provide timely, accurate information on their official media platforms. To reduce the likelihood of individuals experiencing physical and psychological stress experienced in other parts of the world, the United States should implement these communicative suggestions.