Update on rare, but deadly new coronavirus
The World Health Organization reports additional confirmed cases of a novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 43, with 21 deaths. Thirty-one of the cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, 3 in the United Kingdom, 2 in France, 2 in Jordan, 2 in Qatar, 1 in Germany, 1 in United Arab Emirates and I in Tunisia. Two additional probable cases in Tunisia are under investigation. All of the cases have been linked to residents of or travelers from the Middle East. There is clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. This coronavirus is different from other coronaviruses in humans and from SARS. However, genetic sequencing reveals it is similar to coronaviruses in bats. But while bats may play a role in transmission, an intermediate animal or animals may be involved. There are no antiviruals or vaccines available for what now is officially known as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). See links from WHO, CDC and European CDC.
NPHIC June Newsletter hits the street
NPHIC News, our bimonthly newsletter, has just been published and it is bulging with great information. Articles include an update on the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media, as well as innovative campaigns addressing “food deserts” and vaccine hesitancy. You’ll also be introduced to a CDC division known by the acronym DGMQ that helps protect America from dangerous diseases crossing our borders. But the prime focus of this issue is on the changing news media landscape, especially the rapidly rising importance of social media amid declining interest in TV and newspaper news coverage. Three articles deal with this topic and how two states are responding particularly well to the social media challenge. Download the issue here.
Tornado preparation information
With tornado season in full force, one of the preparations you should be doing is to make a list of important information to contact your family, neighbors, insurance agent, utility companies, and more. Keep your important documents in a fire and water proof safe. Here’s CDC’s tornado preparation site.
New tools in NPHIC Emergency Communications library
Check out Connecticut’s simple do and don’t advice to help people keep safe and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when the power goes out. Click here for the English version, with additional links to eight translated versions of this document. Also, with summer on the horizon, we have added a New York State flyer with great information on the effects of hot weather and tips on what you can do to keep cool. This two-pager is available in English and Spanish. Thanks to our members in Connecticut and New York for sharing these resources.
Avian flu H7N9 update and links
The CDC has established this webpage for updates and links regarding the avian flu virus H7N9 in China that has drawn international concern due to its virulent nature and potential to mutate to person-to-person transmission. Updates from the World Health Organization are here. Latest available figures for cases and deaths are here. CDC also has developed a Q&A site for the public that can be accessed here. Officials say some infected individuals have had no contact with poultry/birds, but there is no evidence of "sustained human-to-human transmission." U.S. News and World Report published this article titled "It's time to worry about the new Chinese bird flu."
Sign waiting list for final CERC online training of 2013
Registration is full for the final CDC-sponsored CERC Distance Learning series of 2013, but you can still add your name to a waiting list should there be cancellations. CERC Basic Training Webinar will be held each Tuesday and Thursday in June from 3:30-5 p.m. EDT, starting Tuesday, June 4, and concluding on Thursday, June 27. This free CDC training is a fast-paced, interactive, online course giving participants essential knowledge and tools to navigate the harsh realities of communicating to the public, media and partners during an intense public health emergency. You must attend a minimum of seven modules to receive a completion certificate. Register here.
Are you missing some sweet tweets?
What? You’re not following NPHIC on Twitter? Well, let’s get in gear and join our growing list of followers. You can get on board here.
Turn your Facebook photo into a call to action
You can start engaging visitors to your Facebook page by using that valuable piece of Facebook real estate—the cover photo. Here are five tips that show you how to do it.
How to make your Twitter chats a major force
Twitter Chat—it’s not just a cute idea to gain a few more followers. Read this article on how a New York Times’ columnist turned her Twitter Chat into a major weekly gathering. You can do it, too!
National Indian Health Board newsletter and summit
The spring edition of NIHB’s Public Health Digest is now available online here. It includes an excellent example of how legal means were used to remove obstacles to public health improvement on the Navajo Nation. Also, there’s still time to register for the 4th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit, scheduled for June 17-19 in Hollywood, Fla. The summit link is here.
Five job openings for communicators
A quintet of new opportunities has been posted recently on the job board restricted to NPHIC members. The openings are in Seattle, WA; Phoenix, AZ; Atlanta, GA; Nantucket, MA; and Cedar Rapids, IA. Check them all out here.
How to have better conversations
We spend most of our day talking with others—online, on the phone, in-person or via Skype. But are your discussions productive or just a lot of talk? Read these tips from a former CEO about “How to Have Better Conversations.”