As public health officials grapple with strategies to respond to natural disasters and disease outbreaks, they face a host of challenges, from misinformation on social media and some communities’ lack of trust in government to the definition of what being “prepared” means.
That is why engaging with community leaders on emergency preparedness is especially important, two public health leaders told AHCJ members in a recent webcast. Continue reading
Photo: DIFD via Flickr
Public health emergencies often happen — from a severe flu season or measles outbreak to wildfires or a severe weather event such as a hurricane. Count on them to be a mainstay of the health beat.
Experts in health security continue to debate the readiness of the health system for emergencies. At a July 19 National Academies of Sciences event, Robert Kadlec, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), said that he believes the while the public and private sectors have plans that “have addressed a lot of continuity of operations and classical preparedness” there remains more to be done. Continue reading
With mosquito season heating up in the United States, reporters may be looking for new angles to write about these outdoor pests.
Consider innovations in mosquito control. As fears increase about damage to the environment and bee populations, many states are experimenting with biological alternatives to spraying. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJJoseph Sakran
As journalists, we focus on the increasingly common phenomenon of mass shootings. They are appalling, they are terrifying and we don’t fully understand them.
But gun violence is far more common, far more widespread, and far more insidious than those high-profile events – both murder and suicide. And we aren’t doing enough to think about and address firearms deaths as a public health problem, rather than a law enforcement problem, panelists told a Health Journalism 2019 panel in Baltimore on Friday. Continue reading
Photo: M M via FlickrLive poultry market in Xining, China.
Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China are having an impact on the global economy and potentially U.S. biosecurity.
Late in the summer of 2018, New York Times reporter Emily Baumgaertner authored a story breaking the news that China had stopped providing samples of a flu virus – named H7N9 – with U.S. health authorities. The H7N9 bird flu [the influenza virus is named with H’s and N’s based on their protein makeup] has been circulating in China since 2013 and has spread through poultry farms. Continue reading
In last year’s flu season, 80,000 people died, including 180 children, and 900,000 people were hospitalized, making it the worst flu season in 40 years – underscoring the importance of seasonal flu coverage for every public health reporter.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield unveiled the figures first during an interview with the Associated Press on Sept. 26. CDC officials confirmed the figures at a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Sept. 27. Continue reading