Naik RI, Vagi SJ, Uzicanin A, Dopson SA. Influenza-Related Communication and Community Mitigation Strategies: Results From the 2015 Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment. Health Promot Pract. 2019 Feb 17:
Emergence of a novel infectious disease, such as pandemic influenza, is the one global crisis most likely to affect the greatest number of people worldwide. Because of the potentially severe and contagious nature of influenza, a rapid multifaceted pandemic response, which includes nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and effective strategies for communication with the public are essential for a timely response and mitigating the spread of disease. A web-based questionnaire was administered via email in July 2015 to 62 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) directors across jurisdictions that receive funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PHEP cooperative agreement. This report focuses on two modules: Public Information and Communication and Community Mitigation. Consistent and targeted communication are critical for the acceptability and success of NPIs. All 62 jurisdictions have developed or are in the process of developing a communications plan. Community-level NPIs such as home isolation, school closures, and respiratory etiquette play a critical role in mitigating the spread of disease. Effective, ongoing communication with the public is essential to ensuring wide spread compliance of NPI´s, especially among non-English-speaking populations. Planning should also include reaching vulnerable populations and identifying the correct legal authorities for closing schools and canceling mass gatherings.
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