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Sound the Alarm? A Swine Flu Bind Over Public Health Communication

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According to the New York Times, the W.H.O. and public-health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find themselves in a delicate balance, obliged to provide information about potentially lethal diseases without causing panic.

Although health officials have held exercises to prepare for pandemics and outbreaks caused by bioterrorism, they have yet to master the necessary communications skills. They are in a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation.

 
 

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