The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Although the risk of a widespread outbreak in the United States is very low, the unfamiliar nature of the disease contributes to uncertainty and mistrust. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) are working to educate and prepare communities throughout the United States for the possibility of an Ebola case in their locality. Federal, state, and local authorities; businesses; schools; charitable foundations; and community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs) all have important roles in Ebola preparedness and response. In 2008, CDC and ASTHO developed a 10-step approach for health communications with CFBOs during public health emergencies. In this commentary, CDC and ASTHO public health educators describe how a modification of this 10-step approach can be used by state and local health departments to plan for health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response.
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*Santibanez S, Siegel V, O’Sullivan M, Lacson R, Jorstad C. Health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response: partnerships with community and faith-based organizations. Public Health Rep 2015 Mar-Apr [Epub ahead of print].