Select 1 Of The Following Epidemics / Near-epidemics Of The 21st Century: Mexican / Swine Flu (2009) – Coursework Example

Date
Hong Kong Sars Outbreak
In 2003, Hong Kong City is grappling with the horrors of a Sars outbreak. Within weeks, a residential complex of 19,000 was in complete lockdown after 200 people had unknowingly contracted Sars and it remained unknown on how it managed to spread so fast (Coker et al, 2011). Initially, the media came under sharp criticism when they sent panic throughout the city with an unverified speculation that cockroaches and rats were the reason for the spread. Despite the death of an unprecedented 977 people, Hong Kong earned acknowledgment. This was especially evident on its engagement with the media, both local and international (Coker et al, 2011). For instance, the Hong Kong State Television and the BBC specifically earned acclaim for their up to date and timely reporting on every press conference and detailed new cases as well as death tolls(Coker et al, 2011). The international media also gave a wide and interactive coverage of most of the event surrounding the outbreak. The French Radio International, for example, invoked interest when it aired a live voice in of one of the victims affected by the lockdown of the Amoy Gardens (Ortiz et al, 2009).
With the outbreak of the Swine Flu in Mexicoon29 April 2009, news widely spread of the phenomenon and the international media was at the front to give an up to date coverage of the unfolding events and the international health authorities’ reaction. The BBC gave Mexicos Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova a live interview in which he reported on the fluid situation of the situation in Mexico(Ortiz et al, 2009). The CNN broke news of the first US fatality while Reuters reports from an exclusive interview of The UNs World Health Organization (WHO), assistant director general, Dr Keiji Fukuda, elaborated that the pandemic was "a very serious possibility, but it is still too early to say that this is inevitable"(Ortiz et al, 2009). The MSNBC news channel however received international criticism when an anchor made a derogatory statement against Mexico, invoking an apology by the channel management and later the anchor
In conclusion, the media played a very important role in its coverage of the outbreaks despite the complexity of the undertaking. The information through the media was also crucial in creating awareness, understanding and highlighting other issues pertaining the outbreaks.
References
Coker, R. J., Hunter, B. M., Rudge, J. W., Liverani, M., & Hanvoravongchai, P. (2011). Emerging infectious diseases in southeast Asia: regional challenges to control. Health in Southeast Asia 3, 377(n.a), 599-609.
Ortiz, J. R., Sotomayor, V., Uez, O. C., Oliva, O., Bettels, D., McCarron, M., et al. (2009). Strategy to Enhance Influenza Surveillance Worldwide1. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15(8), 1271-1278.
(Coker et. Al. 2011)
Coker, R. J., Hunter, B. M., Rudge, J. W., Liverani, M., & Hanvoravongchai, P. (2011). Emerging infectious diseases in southeast Asia: regional challenges to control. Health in Southeast Asia 3, 377(n.a), 599-609.