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Communication: The key to containing Ebola

Scott C. Ratzan. Communication: The key to containing Ebola. CNBC News, Oct,2014.
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"I believe we are at risk of [Ebola] spreading further due to the fact many people are confused by what they are being told. In developing countries, the advice given to avoid the spread of Ebola is not fully understood because it is often only available in western formats and also frequently in written form ­ pointless in countries where the majority of the population is illiterate....

"What we need is specific, clear and understandable information that addresses people's real-life questions. Should I be worried? What do I need to do today to protect myself and my family? People should not fear that any fever, pain or cough is the beginning of an Ebola infection. Children cannot catch Ebola from hugging a friend who has been exposed to the Ebola virus. The media's role in disseminating reliable information and allaying fears can be invaluable but comes with a high ethical responsibility...

"A single credible information source is critical. People need to know who to look to for trustworthy and reliable information -­ political leaders, no matter how well-intentioned, are not those people...  To modify behavior requires direct, open, understandable and timely information from a single authoritative source, as well as providing intermediaries with the tools they need to reinforce the message. Until that happens I fear many more lives will be needlessly lost." 

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Scott C. Ratzan
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