Public health warnings may add to social stigma.
Researchers created a hypothetical disease and issued 16 different alerts describing the virus and those infected.
Alerts indicated visible and non-visible symptoms and whether diseases were fatal or mild.
One of the findings showed that people were most likely to share the stigma message if symptoms were visible. Visible symptoms might suggest that infected persons are different, and could facilitate a social bond among those spreading the stigma message, or rumor.