How not to conduct crisis communication

Tag: 夜上海论坛YJ

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – It’s been a busy 10 days on the H5N1 front. Indonesia reported two new human cases and Egypt reported one new human case; there are new confirmed poultry outbreaks in South Korea, Pakistan, and Turkey; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its long-awaited community mitigation strategies document; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration introduced its first workplace guidelines for pandemic influenza; and CIDRAP hosted its second national summit on pandemic influenza and business preparedness in Orlando, FL.But I believe that one particular H5N1 event during this time stands out as an important “teachable moment”—unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. An H5N1 poultry outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK) raised many questions about how prepared governments and the private sector in developed countries are to respond to new and emerging influenza issues.Here is what we know. H5N1-infected turkeys were documented in the Bernard Matthews Holdings Ltd. production facility outside of a Suffolk farm in England. On Feb 5, approximately 160,000 turkeys were culled from the operation. Bernard Matthews and the UK agency responsible for investigating and responding to H5N1 infections issued statements that the culling was complete and the situation posed no risk to humans. The agency—the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)—and Bernard Matthews also emphasized that biosecurity efforts on the farm would limit any other transmission of the virus, despite the fact that there was no explanation as to how the virus got to the birds.This is where things get interesting. Government officials have determined that the H5N1 virus found in the Suffolk turkeys is virtually identical to the H5N1 strain that caused a poultry outbreak in January at a Hungarian farm about 30 miles from a slaughterhouse from which Bernard Matthews imported turkey meat. We have evidence that truckloads of poultry products from both the Hungarian and UK locations had been transported between countries after the outbreaks were identified. For several days, the UK media had a mild feeding frenzy on a series of confusing statements from DEFRA and Bernard Matthews about these events, the risk of H5N1 spreading to other poultry, and the risk posed to humans.For example, The Times of London reported on Feb 12:Despite the imposition of quarantine rules, six trucks of poultry products from the farm owned by Bernard Matthews were said to have arrived in Hungary on Thursday.[DEFRA] launched an investigation into the claims made last night by Lajos Bognar, Hungary’s Deputy Chief Vet. The movement of meat from a site infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu was said by a DEFRA spokeswoman to be within the rules, but caused astonishment among opposition groups. David Miliband, Secretary of State for the Environment, has already been forced to defend DEFRA’s handling of the outbreak and will come under pressure to explain the latest revelation today. Peter Ainsworth, the Shadow Environment Secretary, said: “I’m increasingly bemused at the unfolding saga and finding it increasingly difficult to understand what’s going on. “It’s exactly how you turn a drama into a crisis. I can’t think of anything more calculated to damage public confidence.” Strict rules came into force 10 days ago at the farm and meat processing site in Holton to ensure that the virus was contained, but a loophole in the regulations allows limited exemptions. Live birds, eggs, and carcasses cannot be moved from infected sites, but processed meat in storage is exempt from the isolation rules. Among the possibilities being examined by DEFRA is the suggestion that exported poultry products may have originally come from Hungary and been stored in a refrigeration unit in the same meat processing building that the infected turkeys were taken to in order to be gassed, before being returned to the Continent.In short, this situation is still being sorted out. But there are some real lessons for government and private sector officials responsible for responding to such situations in the future.First, the US and European poultry industries have maintained that current biosecurity efforts on their farms would greatly reduce the risk of similar situations happening. Based on this situation, do we need to reevaluate that premise and respond accordingly?Second, this situation is a classic example of horrible risk communication. Assurances that the public not worry has reminded every British citizen of similar statements made more than a decade ago about cattle and mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE). Initial confident assurances that there was no “Hungarian connection” to the UK outbreak have been discredited.And finally, the UK government missed a golden opportunity to emphasize the critical nature of pandemic preparedness while the public’s attention was focused on the H5N1 issue. The turkey outbreak was a teachable moment, a chance to tell the UK population what they really needed to know to be prepared for the next influenza pandemic.Unfortunately, UK government officials not only squandered that chance, they shot themselves in the foot. Businesses should take a closer look at this situation, even if their enterprises have nothing to do with turkeys. There are some real lessons to be learned about risk communication and outbreak investigations for a real crisis in the future.last_img read more


Tag: 夜上海论坛YJ

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald file photoThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team earned its first Big Ten victory Friday in a 1-0 shutout of Indiana at the McClimon Soccer Complex.Wisconsin (7-6-1, 1-4-0 Big Ten) played its best game in conference play to hand Indiana (5-9-0, 0-5-0) its fifth straight 1-0 loss in the Big Ten.“[It feels] good, especially to do it on the home field in front of the home crowd,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I think we needed a little interjection of some energy.”With just 1:20 left to play, senior Taylor Walsh scored the game-winning goal for the Badgers off an assist from freshman Laurie Nosbusch.Nosbusch had her initial attempt blocked by the Hoosier defense, but Walsh was there on the rebound to put the ball past Indiana goalkeeper Lindsay Campbell and into the back of the net.“[The goal] was a huge relief actually,” Walsh said. “It was a really emotional game for a lot of reasons, so it was really exciting. There was really good build up, so that made it even better.”Wisconsin started slow again offensively but didn’t allow Indiana to take an early lead despite being outshot 5-2 in the first half. In the second half, the Badgers took control, putting up 15 shots to just one for the Hoosiers, making it tough for Campbell and the IU defense.“I thought she did a great job,” Wilkins said of Campbell. “She had good positioning because we shot a lot of balls straight at her. I thought she did a good job with that and kept them in the game.”The Wisconsin offense really turned it up in the last 20 minutes, creating multiple chances and finally capitalizing with Walsh’s goal.“We got some confidence; I think some people stepped up in key roles,” Wilkins said. “I think our two center backs did a great job. We got some good work from the flanks from Ashley Hedges, and right up front, Laurie is a workhorse, and I think she did a great job.”Senior goalkeeper Jamie Klages needed just one save to earn her fourth shutout of the season, all of which have come at home. Klages was aided by a defensive effort that showed much improvement from its first four conference games.“I think their shape was unbelievable,” Klages said. “There was great leadership out of the back, really from all four of them. They did an amazing job today.”One of the things the Badgers had been working on all week was maintaining better possession of the ball. Friday night, the team excelled in this area, especially as the game went on.“We did a better job of not giving the ball up, especially in the second half,” Wilkins said. “I think that’s what gave us the ability to be more effective and create some chances.”Friday’s result moves Wisconsin into a tie with Northwestern for eighth in the conference, while Indiana remains alone in last place as the only team yet to record a win or tie.The win comes at a great time for the Badgers as the Big Ten season reaches its halfway point. With just one win, they have moved themselves into a strong position in terms of qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament.“[The win] keeps us in the running for going to the Big Ten Tournament,” Walsh said. “It was definitely a must-win tonight, so it was really good that we got that.”Wisconsin showcased its depth against Indiana with six players seeing time off the bench and four of them playing 20 minutes or more. This allowed the Badgers to rest Walsh, who is still dealing with the effects of her knee injury, for an extended period in each half.Despite playing only 47 minutes, Walsh made a big impact, putting up three shots, including her game-winning goal in the 89th minute.“Taylor is an incredible player; she has a huge impact on the freshmen [and] really anybody on the team,” Klages said. “She can only go for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, but when she is in there, she’s always working hard. Any time we can have her on the field, it’s definitely a plus for us.”As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Wisconsin bench erupted with joy and rushed onto the field to celebrate its first Big Ten victory of the season.“It feels awesome, especially [to win] such a close game,” Klages said. “To get it in the last two minutes — I always say we’ve got to play 90 minutes, and that was 90-minute game.”last_img read more