This article discusses lessons learned from previous public health crises.
Expertise in communication is essential for outbreak control. Implicit to better risk communication is a belief that better risk management will automatically follow, but specific efforts need to be enacted to ensure that happens. Communication, cooperation, and coordination are necessary at all governmental levels. Several lessons have been learned from previous disease outbreaks to address public health crises:
- Concerted effort is needed to translate risk communication to coordinated risk management responses
- Resources must be mobilized effectively, efficiently, and in a timely manner
- Clear roles and responsibilities must be communicated at local, state, and federal levels
- Strategic plans must be operational
Learning from mistakes in these areas during previous crises can offer insight for being more effective during the current public health outbreak.