How to cover the novel coronavirus global outbreak

The world is not the same as it was in 2002 when SARS emerged. Social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have allowed the rapid exchange of information — and sometimes misinformation. — From an article on The Conversation

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Sourced from the New York Times

How to cover public health issues

  1. Seek official sources. First rule in covering public health issues is to always seek information from official sources and experts who are well-versed about the public health issue you are covering. For the 2019 novel coronavirus, the number one source is the World Health Organization.
  2. Understand your terms. Be careful about using epidemiological terms that can be misconstrued. For example, what is the difference between an outbreak versus and an epidemic or even a pandemic? Here’s one simple definition about an outbreak: “An outbreak is the sudden occurrence of a disease in a community, which has never experienced the disease before or when cases of that disease occur in numbers greater than expected in a defined area.” Meanwhile, an epidemic is “an occurrence of a group of illnesses of similar nature and derived from a common source, in excess of what would be normally expected in a community or region.” What about a pandemic? “A pandemic…refers to a worldwide epidemic, which could have started off as outbreak, escalated to the level of an epidemic and eventually spread to a number of countries across continents.”
  3. Data matters but it is best when visualized. To give people a better picture of a pandemic, you have to help visualize the problem. This New York Times example is one of the clearest visualization of the pandemic.
Source: New York Times

An ex-journalist. Teacher. Dad. Loves Guitar & Books. Writes when inspiration hits him.

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