Anticipating Questions

Claudia Fishman Parvanta, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Health Communication
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

As we prepare what we try to get ready are what we think are all the most typical questions that the public will have concerning this event. So for example, if we're thinking about a disease like smallpox, there actually are an entire set of fact sheets that we can get ready talking about the disease, talking about the vaccine, speaking about who should get it who shouldn't get it, what are the conditions that they have. And this kind of typical sets of questions would apply to just about any infectious disease agent that we might imagine. What if we had a chemical incident using Saran or some other poison gas? And as horrible as it seems we really can ready set the materials about what the public should be doing. We're also working on things for clinicians so that they would know what to do. Now people don't even want to think about these things, but actually probably with 5 or 6 fact sheets you'll have covered 80% of the kinds of questions that you might get later. And even if you never post those or use those, at least you have them ready.