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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The weekly read

Communications Strategies for the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic
The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases  
December, 2011


If you are a public information officer working anywhere in the world, you will eventually be asked about the emerging Ebola Virus Disease and what its potential effects will be. While there are many resources online which offer outstanding information on this disease (especially the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization), there are many lessons that can be learned from the last major international public health threat - the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Mexico City commuters wearing masks to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus
This outstanding paper is full of keen observations about what tactics worked - and what didn't - as the fear of the H1N1 Novel Influenza pandemic spread. From pre-pandemic communications to spreading the word about precautions to the public, the NCCID explored the entire arc of how information was disseminated. Differences between the information distribution processes of different nations are discussed at length, giving a detailed analysis of what transpired.

While Ebola and the 2009 H1N1 Flu pandemic are very different illnesses, the public health communications lessons learned can help make spreading the facts about the illness just a bit easier.

Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida
https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomiovino

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