Acknowledging that “communication expertise has become as essential to outbreak control as epidemiological training and laboratory analysis”, in 2005 the World Health Organization created Communication Guidelines aiming at clarifying the specific communication challenges faced by public health officials as well as the best practices for communicating with the public during an outbreak of a communicable disease. An effective outbreak communication is one of the tools that can help achieve the public health goal of bringing an outbreak under control as quickly as possible, with as little social disruption as possible.
The guidelines identify some fundamental aspects for outbreak communication practice:
- Announcing early;
- Understanding the public;