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risk and COVID-19: communicating and managing

As leading health officials sound the alarm over growing infection rates, the SMC brought together two of the leading experts on Covid-19 to discuss approaches that acknowledge the disease is with us to stay and strategies that can help society adapt to that reality.

The briefing coincided with a new paper in the BMJ by Prof Spiegelhalter which argues that as COVID-19 turns from a societal threat into a matter of risk management, it is vital that the associated risks are understood and clearly communicated and explores the use of ‘normal’ risk as an aid to transparent communication. Meanwhile, Prof Woolhouse elaborated on his work which proposes strategies to protect those most at risk while allowing society to continue to open up, a topical intervention given that the increase in infections is largely associated with low risk groups.

 

Speakers included:

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge

Prof Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

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